Erté was born
Romain de Tirtoff in St. Petersburg Russia in 1892. The only
son of an admiral in the Imperial Fleet, he was raised amidst Russia's
social elite. As a young boy, he was fascinated by the Persian
miniatures he found in his father's library. These exotic, brightly
patterned designs continued to be important to him and influenced
the development of his style. He moved to Paris at the age of
eighteen and took the name Erté, from the French pronunciation of
his initials, R and T. In 1915 he began his long relationship with
Harper's Bazaar, during which time he created over 240 covers for
the magazine. His fashion designs also appeared in many other
publications, making him one of the most widely recognized artists
of the 1920s. He also designed costumes and sets for the theater.
In 1976 the French government awarded Erté the title of Officer of
Arts and Letters, and in 1982 the Medaille de Vermeil de la Ville
de Paris was bestowed upon him.
has exhibited in prominent museums around the world including the
Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County
Museum in California, The Smithsonian Institute in Washington,
D.C., The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England, and
more. Erté is credited as being the originator of the
Art Deco Movement
and is the style for which he is identified.