During his long career as an artist and illustrator Erté produced many hundreds of paintings, including more than 250 covers and countless other artworks for Harper’s Bazaar. In many ways he helped to create and standardise the Art Deco style in costume and decoration, a significant influence still much in fashion today.

An interesting question in the context of these pages is ‘To what extent is Erté’s work erotic’? It depends very much on what the viewer perceives as having any kind of erotic charge. He was certainly not averse to a youthful pert breast or two, and a few of his drawings show women in some kind of relationship, but by all reports he was something of a sexual aesthete in his personal life, and was attracted as much by a beautiful young man as by the women of his artistic creations.