Edouard Cortes, of French and Spanish ancestry, was born in Lagny-sur-Marne, a few miles east of Paris on August 8, 1882. As an adolescent, he became fascinated with the arts and at seventeen began his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The year 1901 marked the artist’s first exhibition at the Salon des Artistes Francais. His piece depicting a dramatic Paris street scene at dusk brought him immediate fame.
Later, as an active member of the prestigious Société des Artistes Francais, Cortes exhibited his works yearly in Paris at the Society’s salon as well as at the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Hiver. With the tremendous success that his Paris street scenes brought him during his lifetime, Cortes continues to delight art-lovers today and is considered to be one of the greatest masters of French post-impressionism.
Edouard Cortes’ paintings express the romance, energy and charm of old Paris through his masterful application of bold brush strokes and intriguing colors. His works display the profound knowledge he held of perspective and composition. The viewer’s eye is most often caught by fascinating details – the play of lights on wet pavement, shadows on streets and glowing windows and street lamps. On any one of Cortes’ canvases, one can find an array of tones ranging from soft gray hues and ambers to vivid reds, yellows and oranges. A splash of purple may be a man’s tailored dinner jacket or a stroke of blue, a woman’s cloak. The viewer cannot help but marvel at the overall effect of the artist’s composition.
After a life long dedication to seizing the magic of Paris during its transition from the romantic bell époque to the modern, twentieth century capital as we know it, Cortes has left the world a legacy of master paintings. Now found in most prestigious collections throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, South America and Japan, his work continues to awe the world.