Edouard Leon Cortès France

4-26-1882 Lagny-sur-Marne, FRA - 11-26-1969 Marne, FRA

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Cortès, Edouard Leon

Edouard Leon Cortès was born in Lagny-sur-Marne, about twenty miles east of Paris. His father, Antonio Cortès, had been a painter for the Spanish Royal Court.

At the age of 17, Edouard Leon Cortès began his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His first exhibition in 1901 brought him immediate recognition. Cortès stressed his independence.

Although Edouard Leon Cortes was a pacifist, when war came close to his native village he was compelled to enlist in a French Infantry Regiment at the age of 32. As a contact agent Cortès was wounded by a bayonet, evacuated to a military hospital, and awarded the Croix de Guerre. After recovery he was then reassigned to utilize his artistic talent to sketch enemy positions. In 1919 he was demobilized.

Later in life his convictions led him to refuse the Légion d'Honneur from the French Government. His wife had died in 1918 and he soon married his sister-in-law Lucienne Joyeuse.

Cortès lived a simple life amid a close circle of friends.

His works were first exhibited in North America in 1945 and he subsequently achieved even greater success. In his last year of life he was awarded the prestigious Prix Antoine-Quinson from the Salon de Vincennes.

On November 30, 2000, four paintings by Edouard Leon Cortès were recovered in Kalispell, Montana, following an eight-month investigation conducted by the FBI's San Francisco Division. The recovered paintings were stolen in 1988 during a burglary at the Simic Gallery in Carmel, California.

In 2008, a lost Edouard Leon Cortès painting of a Paris street scene was discovered amongst donated items at a Goodwill Industries thrift store in Easton, Maryland. After an alert store manager noticed that it was a signed original, the painting was subsequently auctioned for $41,000 at Sotheby's.

Art Movement: Post Impressionism
Traveled: USA
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