"I had the good fortune to inherit some talent, and also to have been taught by my father. If my paintings please those who view them, and if they give a feeling of place and moments, or awaken a curiosity about the history of a monument or a place then I am fully satisfied with my success." -Edouard Leon Cortès
A monumental cityscape featuring the famed Champs-Élysées by Edouard Leon Cortès. Dubbed the "Parisian Poet of Painting," Cortès devoted most of his life to capturing the vibrant energy and beauty of The City of Lights during a glorious time in the city's history. Cortès began painting his famous Parisian street scenes in 1901 and was largely responsible for immortalizing a period in Paris when fashion, art, culture and nightlife flourished with a boundless passion and exuberance. Unlike many artists who painted the very same boulevards, Cortès possessed the uncanny ability to portray the very essence of his beloved city in all of her moods. Dashes of color splashed against a haunting foggy backdrop, sunlight peeking through the shadows of a crisp fall day or dimly lit streets alive with the bustle of Saturday evening revelers; these were the images of Cortès' Paris. Though he painted the same streets time and time again, each work is unique in its narrative and perspective, each mindful of the changes brought by the seasons' progress and enchantingly nostalgic.
Raised in a prolific artistic environment, Cortès was an avid student of both his father, French painter Antonio Cortès and his older brother, Andre. Cortès began exhibiting his works at an early age and participated in several important Parisian exhibitions. The young artist was greatly influenced by his father and other famous artists who flocked to the picturesque town of Langly where Cortès was born. Maximilian Luce, Camille Pissaro and Lucien Pissaro, among other celebrities of the Impressionist period, were personal friends of the family and the young Cortès flourished in this rich artistic environment while developing a remarkably independent style. Cortès exhibited his first work in 1899 at the Socíeté des Artistes Française in Paris where his art was met with excellent reviews. In 1901, he began painting scenes of Paris and went on to exhibit in the great venues of Paris and later in America and Canada, earning great admiration from his peers, patrons and critics. Today, Cortès continues to be lauded as one of the great Impressionist painters of the Belle Epoque, and collectors increasingly seek his unmistakable work.