Oil on panel, signed
6½ x 8½ in.
Few artists have summoned up the atmosphere of the Parisian ‘Belle Époque’ as effectively as Edouard Leon Cortés. He was masterful at portraying the urban landscape of Paris, and his stunning usage of light reflections and wet streets is reminiscent of the work of the English artist, John Atkinson Grimshaw. He was one of the first artists to realize the potential of the motorcar as a metaphor for the hustle and bustle of urban existence.
Cortes was born in 1882 in Lagny, France. His father was a Spanish painter who had settled in France at the time of the Exposition Universelle, in 1855. Cortes lived in Lagny, a small village some thirty miles from Paris, for most of his life. He left school at the age of thirteen and entered his father’s studio as an apprentice.
In 1899 at the age of seventeen he exhibited his first painting at the Paris Salon, where he was acclaimed as a boy wonder in the international press. By 1907 he had become a member of the Society of French Artists and he exhibited in both France and the United States of America, on a regular basis.