Edouard Leon Cortes was born in Langny, France on April 26, 1882. During his lifetime, Paris was the centre of the art world. Artists from across the globe travelled there to study and paint. Views of Paris, or as it became known “The City of Light”, were in demand by both collectors and tourists. Specialising in Paris street scenes, Cortes captured the city in its heyday.
Edouard was the son of Antonio Cortes, the Spanish court painter. Antonio had three children, Edouard, Henri and Jeanne and while all had artistic talent it was Edouard who had a true passion for painting. In 1899, at the age of 16, he exhibited his first painting at the Societe des Artistes Francais entitled “La Labour”. The work was well received by the critics and the public, helping to establish Edouard’s favourable reputation in Paris.
It was at the turn of the century that he began to paint the scenes for which he would become most famous, the streets of Paris and its monuments. 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 60 years.
Cortes received many awards, gained great acclaim and was a frequent exhibitor at the exhibition halls of Paris, including the Salon d’Automne, Salon d’Hiver, Salon de la Societe Nationale de l’Horticulture and the Salon des Independants.
His beautiful depictions of Paris were always in demand and he continued to paint them until his death in 1969.