Artist Biography

ERTE (ROMAINE DE TIRTOFF)

Erte: Father of Art Deco: Romaine de Tirtoff was born Roman Petrovich Tyrtov in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire, to a distinguished family with roots tracing back to 1548. His father, Pyotr Ivanovich Tyrtov, was a Russian Fleet Admiral. In 1910-12 Erte, Romain moved to Paris, France, to pursue a career as a designer. This decision was made over strong objections from his father, who wanted Romain to continue the family tradition and become a naval officer. Romain assumed his pseudonym to avoid disgracing the family. In 1915 he got his first substantial contract with Harper’s Bazaar magazine, and went on to an illustrious career that included designing costumes and stage sets. Erte is perhaps most famous for his elegant fashion designs which capture the art deco period in which he worked.

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