Organizations* : SAF
Cortès was born in Lagny, France on April 26, 1882. The son of Antonio Cortès – the Spanish Court painter – who was himself the son of the artisan André Cortès, Edouard grew up surrounded by art and encouraged in it. During his early lifetime, Paris was the center of the art world; artists from across the world traveled there to study and paint its beautiful countryside and cities. Images of the City of Lights were in great demand by both collectors and tourists. Édouard Cortès, along with other artists such as Eugene Galien-Laloue (1854-1941), Luigi Loir (1845-1916) and Jean Beraud (1849-1936) answered their call.
In 1899, at the age of 16, Cortès exhibited his first work, entitled La Labour, at the Société des Artistes Français. The work was well received by the critics and the public, helping establish Édouard’s favorable reputation in Paris. It was at the turn of the century that he began to paint the scenes that he would become most famous for – Paris’ streets and monuments. One of the more prolific artists of his time, Cortès found his niche and stayed with it. His views of Paris are among the most telling and beautiful images of this genre; capturing the city during all its seasons for more than sixty years.
A.P Larde makes the following observation about Cortès in his book on Antoine Blanchard: [he] “was preeminently the painter of Paris of the Nineties, which he had loved and known well; his qualities as a painter, in addition to his sensitivity, allowed him to paint the street scenes of that time under their most charming, attractive and real light. Transposed by his brushes, each spot of Paris becomes a veritable sparkling jewel. The most ordinary scene, through a sensitive, generous and elaborate palette, irresistibly fascinates and moves us. Only through a detailed study of his canvases can we understand how this artist, with apparently simple means, could obtain such gripping effects. His bold touch never lingers over a superfluous detail. What best proves his talent is the accuracy of his drawing and the naturalness of the scene he paints, his extraordinary use of sun or rain, with reflections in the puddles in the streets.”
Cortès’ beautiful depictions of Paris were always in demand and he continued to paint them until his death in 1969.