A letter ‘U’ Artist Proof Serigraph from the series created by Erté (Romain de Tirtoff) in 1967 and printed in a limited edition of 300 in 1976.
Romain de Tirtoff (23 November 1892 – 21 April 1990) was a Russian-born French artist and designer known by the pseudonym Erté (from the French pronunciation of his initials). He flourished in an array of fields including fashion, jewellery, graphic arts and interior décor. He was often referred to as ‘The Father of Art Deco’ and throughout his lifetime used his illustrative eye to create over 240 covers for Harper's Bazaar magazine. He was however, most famous for his fashion and his costume and set designs; some of the most notable silent films he worked on included Paris, Ben Hur, and Dance Madness. His most recognised image is Symphony in Black, a serigraph of a woman wearing black holding a black dog. Other works include Lust and Pink Lady.
“Not only do I do what I want to do, but I do my work in my own way and never have been influenced by another artist.” Erté.
Originally conceived of in 1927 when Erté was at the very pinnacle of his celebrity, his Alphabet series took him over 40 years to complete, finally premiering in London in 1967. This coincided with a later renaissance in interest in his skill as an artist, and, in response, he created an additional series of sculptures and lithographs that helped revive the Art Deco movement in Europe at that time. In 1970, the French government awarded him the title of Chevalier du Mérite, Artistique et Culturel and later, awarded him the title of Officer of Arts and Letters in 1976 – which, rather fittingly, was the year his own ‘Art of Letters’ of Alphabet prints were created with a limited edition of 300.
This serigraph comes from that series and is hand signed on the right margin of the image, with the ‘AP’ artist’s proof designation to the left – also lower left is the proof of authenticity stamp from the gallery. This is believed to designate ‘GC’ for Galerie Charpentier in Paris.
Although already produced in a limited edition, the Artist Proofs are nonetheless considered to be more valuable as less than 10% of the final edition are created for the artist – these are normally distributed to friends, family and galleries in advance of the completion of printing. They also sometimes have slight variations to the later print which again increases their appeal for collectors.
You will note that the serigraph is printed on high quality paper and is in excellent condition having never been framed. By reference to the photos you can see an impression of what it would look like framed and you will also see that I have other letters from the same series available via my other listings here: these are ‘Y’, ‘O’, ‘Q’, ‘I’, ‘V’, and ‘X’. These could spell, as a series when used together, a number of words and shorthand terms including, amongst others; ‘QUO’, ‘VOX’, ‘QUI’ and ‘IQ’.
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Artist Proof Letter ‘U’ from the Erté alphabet limited edition print series
Art Deco, 20th Century, Figurative, Surrealist.
Date of production
Serigraph on art paper
Sheet: H65 X W49 cm
Image: H40 X 27cm
Number of pieces included in price
Very good - has never been framed or mounted
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