If Paris was a poem, then Edouard Léon Cortès (1882–1969) was the poet. Born from a Spanish father and French mother, he started to paint early, thought by his father Antonio. Cortès sr was a court artist from Seville, Spain who had settled in France since 1855.
Starting from 1900es until his death in 1969 Cortès painted the streets and monuments of Paris. This delivered him the title Parisian poet of painting. Cortès’ style is post-impressionism. Unlike Gustave Caillebotte who painted Paris as cityscape from the upper class, Cortès’ painting series of Paris show fairly details of the streets and monumental buildings with common people in it. Cortès captured all four seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter) with their characteristical colours in anytime of the day; dawn, dusk, daylight or evening in his works. The results are amazing. Those who have been to Paris might recognize the streets or the buildings.
I chose some to display on this post. Here are my picks. First come two series of paintings taken from the same angle in various seasons.
Street: Rue Royale Madeleine with the Madeleine church at the background.
Street: Place de l’Opéra, monument: Opéra Garnier or Palais Garnier. In this building Edgar Degas hang around regularly to capture the ballerinas in his masterpieces.
And here come the various city landmarks.
Street: Place de la Concorde, monument the Obelisk of Luxor. From afar, left of the obelisk, the Madeleine church from the first painting in this post, is clearly visible.
Street: Avenue des Champs-Élysées Paris’ most famous boulevard, monument: The Arc de Triomphe.
This is a closer look of the Arc de Triomphe at dusk in autumn.
Monument: La basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre (The Sacré-Cœur Basilica) on top of Montmartre hill.
Street: Quay Saint Michel with its bouquinistes (sellers of antique books), monument: La cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.
Monument: Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden) with Louvre Museum on the background.
Aside from the cityscapes of Paris, Cortès painted another sceneries as well. His landscapes of Brittany and Normandy are as stunning as the Paris series. I will present them in another art post.
Sources: All paintings are taken from WikiArt