Erté's Theatrical Costumes in Full Color

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Courier Corporation, 1979 - Design - 46 pages
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A fan-bearing slave girl, a worshipper of Horus, the wife of a Russian boyar, Ceres, a mermaid and a gypsy dancer—are among the 49 theatrical costumes that have been selected for this volume from the vast and widely praised output of the Russian-born, Paris-bred designer Erté (Romain de Tirtoff). Spanning the years 1911 to 1975, these extravagant, imaginative costumes—all done for specific actual productions—include costumes for great or notorious personalities (the music-hall and musical-comedy star Gaby Deslys, the opera soprano Ganna Walska), Folies-Bergère shows, editions of George White's Scandals, and ballets.
Many exotic and historical styles are evoked, including Egyptian, Chinese, Persian, Japanese, Russian, Louis XIV and Louis XVI. A flowing lavishness of costume is complemented by different colors to create different moods: deep, lustrous purples, reds, and browns for dynamic, vibrant figures; ochre, sienna, orange and beige for more formal characters; and pale blues, lavenders, greens, grays, and black for people of mystery and hidden powers. Other magnificent costumes represented in this collection include: Balthasar, one of the three Magi, for the show Legendary Kings at the Théâtre Fémina in Paris, 1919; Lantern-bearer, for the show Treasures of Indochina at the Alcazar music hall in Marseilles, 1922; Costume for La Traviata, 1935; Pierrot; for the Opera Ball at the Bal Tabarin in Paris, 1937; Madame Butterfly, for the show Heroines at the Teatro Calderón in Barcelona, 1945; Octopus, for the show The Bottom of the Sea, 1946.
Erté, like Bakst, is one of the few designers who treated costume design as a fine art; his works in this genre are not only up to his own high standards, but are among the finest costume designs ever done. As dazzling as his color graphics, as witty as his fashion designs, Erté's Theatrical Costumes in Full Color deserves the attention of all costume designers, artists, theater people, and costume aficionados.

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About the author (1979)

Born Romain de Tirtoff, the Russian-born, Paris-bred artist Ert (1892-1990) ranks among the foremost fashion and theatrical designers of the 20th century. When he produced his first lithographs at the age of 76, art lovers thrilled to discover that he had found a new medium for his extraordinary talents.

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