Édouard-Leon Cortès (French, 1882-1969), "Paris à Nuit en la Niege"

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Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 3.49.39 PM.png

Édouard-Leon Cortès (French, 1882-1969), "Paris à Nuit en la Niege"


oil on canvas

Framed size is 29 1/2 x 35 3/4 inches

19 1/2 x 25 3/4 inches

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Édouard Leon Cortès was born in Lagny, France on April 26, 1882.   

During his early years, Paris was the center of the art world. Artists from around the globe traveled to France to study and paint its engaging countryside and cities. Views of Paris, "the City of Light," were in great demand by both collectors and tourists. Édouard Cortès, along with Eugene Galien-Laloue (1854-1941), Luigi Loir (1845-1916) and Jean Beraud (1849-1936) answered their call. Specializing in Parisian street scenes, each artist captured the city during its heyday and continued the theme into the 20th century. Cortes is known as "the Parisian Poet of Painting." 

Called to paint at an early age, Cortès said, "I was born from and for painting." His father was a painter for the royal court of Spain, and each of his siblings became artists. After training in his father's studio under the tutelage of his family, he exhibited his first work at the Société des Artistes Français in 1899 at the age of 16. The work, entitled La Labour , was well received by the critics and the public and established for him a favorable reputation in Paris. At the turn of the century he began to paint the scenes which he would become most famous for— Parisian streets and monuments. His depictions of Paris are among the most beautiful images of this genre. For more than 60 years he worked to capture the city in all its seasons. 

Cortès was an active member of the Union des Beaux-Arts de Lagny and was the Union's first president. The inaugural exhibition was held in 1927 and Cortès continued to exhibit there until the late 1930's. During this period he received many awards, gained great notoriety, and was a frequent exhibitor at the exhibition halls in Paris, including the Salon d'Automne, Salon d'Hiver, Salon de la Société Nationale de l'Horticulture and Salon des Indépendants.

In "Paris à Nuit en la Niege," turn-of-the-century Parisians stroll the snowy streets in their overcoats and hats. The night sky is filled with clouds foreshadowing the heavy snowfall to come. The glow of the streetlamps and shop windows give the painting a warm and bright vitality, contrasting with, and in spite of, the cold and dark evening background. The crowded streets give the sense that this is yet another enjoyable evening in bohemian Paris. 

 Cortès’s beautiful paintings of Paris and the French countryside were always in demand and he continued to paint them until his death in 1969 in his home at Rue Macheret, Lagny-Torigny.