"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."
-Èdouard Léon Cortes
Edouard Léon Cortès presents a beautiful early evening Parisian cityscape in this original oil on canvas entitled Notre Dame, Paris. The vantage point is that from the Place St. Michel, looking toward the famed Notre Dame Cathedral. Cortés' depiction of light, both natural and artificial, is masterful, portraying the rain-slicked reflections of pedestrians mingling in the city street with those of automobile headlights and illuminated store windows.
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 and progress, yet each 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. 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 Pissarro and Lucien Pissarro, among other celebrities of the Impressionist period, were personal friends of the family and the young Cortès flourished in this rich artistic environment, though he developed a remarkably independent style. Cortès exhibited his first work in 1899 at the Socíeté des Artistes Française in Paris where he was met with excellent reviews. His scenes of Paris were met with much acclaim, and he 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 his work is increasingly sought after by collectors.
Édouard Cortès, 1999, David Klein
Édouard Cortès Catalog Raisonné II, 2009, Nicole Verdier Davenport's Art Reference, 1995, R. J. Davenport
Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 1976, E. Bénézit