Erté – Romain de Tirtoff

Erté – Romain de Tirtoff

Romain de Tirtoff was born in St. Petersburg to a distinguished family … his father was an
 admiral in the Russian fleet.

Around 1910, Romain moved to Paris to pursue a career as a designer.  The decision to move to Paris was made despite strong objections from his father who wanted Romain to follow in the family tradition and become a naval officer.

It was because of this, Romain adopted the pseudonym Erté to avoid disgracing his family … Erté is the French pronunciation of his initials “R” and “T”.

In 1915 he secured his first major contract with Harpers Bazaar magazine for whom he designed over 200 covers. This also launched an illustrious career that included designing costumes and stage sets.
Erté is perhaps best known for his art deco fashion costume, set and progamme designs for the likes of Ziegfeld Folies, Folies Bergère, Théâtre Fémina and Le Lido.

Erté continued working throughout his life, designing  for revues, ballets, and operas. He had a major rejuvenation of his career during the 1960s with the Art Deco revival. He also branched out into the realm of limited edition prints, bronzes and wearable art.