Édouard Cortès

Édouard Cortès
Born 26 April 1882
Lagny/Marne, France
Died November 26, 1969
Lagny/Marne, France
Nationality French
Education His father Antonio Cortès, École des Beaux-Arts in Paris
Movement Post-Impressionism
Field Painting
Work View Complete Works

Édouard Cortès (1882-1969), of French and Spanish decent, was born in France on August 8, 1882. He was known as the poet from Paris. Cortès is famous for his very different vivid and almost life-like city scenes of Paris, which portrayed scenes of the city in various weather conditions and night lighting.

Cortès’s Early Life

From a very young age he knew he was intrigued by the arts. His father Antony was an artist for the Royal Spanish Court and this may have influenced him in some way. In any case, at 17 he began his studies to become an artist at the Paris School of Fine Arts.

The Discovery

The early 20th century marked his first exhibition at the French artists’ salon in Paris. His work; a painting of an evening street scene rewarded him with immediate public recognition for such a well painted and dramatic city scene of Paris at the end of the romantic era.

Cortès married twice and had one daughter. At 32 Cortès he joined the military but was hospitalized when injured. He was bestowed the French War Cross for acts of bravery. Upon recovery he was assigned the duty of drawing the positions of the enemy. Three years later Cortès was offered the French Legion of Honor from the government but declined the award. A short while later he became a member of the Society of French artists and annually began to display his works at several French salons.

Style of Art

Cortès’ paintings are bright and vivid, bold with wide strokes of his brush. His city scenes show the shadows of the lights reflecting on wet streets as well as the reflections from the street lights. In fact his paintings are so realistic viewers could almost envision themselves in the paintings.

Paintings Lost and Found

On November 30, 2000, four of Cortès’s stolen paintings were found in Montana. The paintings had been stolen from a gallery in California in 1988. Eight years later at a Goodwill store in Maryland another of Cortès’s stolen paintings was retrieved. This painting was of a Paris City scene. Upon recovery the painting sold at auction for almost $41,000.

Cortès lived a quiet life amongst a circle of close friends. He passed away in the city of his birth and has a street named in his honor.

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