Édouard Leon Cortès
Édouard Leon Cortès was born in Lagney, France in 1882. At the age of 17, Edouard began his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His first exhibition in 1901 brought him immediate recognition. The way he was able capture the magic in his paintings of Paris is what brought him much acclaim. His French landscapes have a universal fascination which his audience can relate to. His paintings dance with beauty, as the speckling of light across each work creates intriguing subjects alluring to a nostalgia. Each of his city scenes glows with arresting beauty. The flower markets, the quaint boutiques, the sidewalk cafes and beautiful landscapes all enter into his brilliant, jewel-like compositions which are known and revered all over the world.
His works were first exhibited in North America in 1945 and he subsequently achieved even greater success. In his last year of life he was awarded the prestigious Prix Antoine-Quinson from the Salon de Vincennes. A member of the Society of French Artists, Edouard Cortes was a painter who made an indelible imprint on the minds and affections of art lovers not only in Europe but also throughout the United States.
In the period we know as La Belle Époque from about 1880 to 1914, there were many revolutionary ideas in politics, technology, science, poetry, music, literature and the fine arts emerged in Paris during this vibrant time. Paris was the cosmopolitan, fashionable stage on which the drama of the Belle Epoque was enacted. The city itself was in a state of dramatic change with the rebuilding undertaken by Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann starting in the 1850's. Yielded wide tree-lined avenues, extensive parks, and elegant golden-gray stone buildings. Parisians thronged the new boulevards, parks, and theaters to see and to be seen. Cortès paintings express the romance, energy, and charm of old Paris through his masterly application of bold brush strokes and intriguing colors. Displaying the profound knowledge he held of perspective and composition, as the viewer's eye is most often caught by the fascinating details of his pieces, like the play of lights on wet pavement, shadows on streets and glowing windows and street lamps. For instance in this particular painting, one can find an array of tones ranging from soft gray hues and ambers to vivid reds, yellows, and oranges. A splash of red, pink and green of the flower vendor cart, may be a woman's maroon tailored dress or a stroke of light blue, in girls cloak. The viewer cannot help but marvel at the overall effect of the artist's wonderful composition of this piece.