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Edouard Cortes, of French and Spanish ancestry, was born on August 26, 1882 in
twenty miles east of Paris. Cortes' father, Antonio Cortes, had been a
painter for the Spanish Royal Court. In his youth Cortes learned the basic
disciplines of landscape painting from his father and at age 17 entered the
Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. There, for the next five years, Cortes
studied the various forms of classical and impressionistic painting. The
year 1901 marked the artist's first exhibition at the Salon des Artistes
Français, Cortes exhibited his early works yearly in Paris at the
Society's salon as well as at the Salon des Independants and the
Salon de l'Hiver.
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 held of perspective and
composition; and, 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 bur marvel at the
overall effect of the artist's composition.
Among other places, Cortes lived in Paris and captured many of its famous
landmarks. Cortes painted them from different angles, different seasons and
different times of day giving each of them various points of view. Cortes also
painted landscapes and interiors.
After a life-long dedication to seizing the magic of Paris during its
transition from the romantic belle époque to the modern, twentieth century
capital as we know it, Cortes has left the world a legacy of master paintings.
Now found in the most prestigious collections throughout Europe, the United
States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, South America and Japan, his work
continues to awe the world.
Cortes died on November 26, 1969.
More information regarding Cortes can be found in David Klein's definitive
work Edouard Cortes and Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs,
dessinateurs et graveurs by E. Benezit.