Cortes, of French and Spanish ancestry, was born in France in
1882. As an adolescent, he became fascinated with the arts and
at seventeen began his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts I Paris.
The year 1901 marked the artist’s first exhibition at the
Salon des Artistes Francais of one of his works, a dramatic Paris
street scene at dusk, which brought him immediate fame.
as an active member of the prestigious Societe des Artists Francais,
Cortes exhibited his works yearly in Paris at the Society’s
salon as well as the Salon des Independants, and the Salon de
l’Hiver. With the tremendous success that his Paris street
scenes brought him during his lifetime, Cortes continues to delight
art-lovers today and is considered to be one of the greatest masters
of French impressionism.
Cotres’ paintings express the romance, energy and charm
of old Paris through his masterly application of bold brush strokes
and intriguing colors. His works display the profound knowledge
he held of perspective and composition; and, the viewer’s
eye is most often caught by fascinating details – the play
of lights on wet pavement, shadows on streets and glowing windows
and street lamps. On any one of Cortes’ canvases, one can
find an array of tones ranging from soft gray hues and ambers
to vivid reds, yellows and oranges. A splash of purple may be
a man’s tailored dinner jacket or a stroke of blue, a woman’s
cloak. The viewer cannot help but marvel at the overall effect
of the artist’s composition.
a life long dedication to seizing the magic of Paris during its
transition from the romantic (belle époque) to the modern,
twentieth century capital as we know it, Cortes has left the world
a legacy of master paintings. Now found in most prestigious collections
throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia,
South America and Japan, his work continues to awe the world.
Cortes died in 1969.