Edouard Cortes was born in Lagny, France on April 26, 1882, a time when Paris was considered the center of the art world. Views of Paris, or as it became known ‘the City of Lights’, were in great demand by both collectors and tourists. Edouard Cortès, along with other artists like: Eugene Galien-Laloue (1854-1941), Luigi Loir (1845-1916) and Jean Beraud (1849-1936) answered their call. Specializing in Paris street scenes, each of these artists captured the city during its heyday and continued with these scenes well into the 20th Century.
Edouard was the son of Antonio Cortès – the Spanish Court painter – who was himself the son of the artisan André Cortès. Antonio began teaching his son at an early age and enrolled him in a private elementary school where he continued his schooling until the age of 13. From this point on he devoted his life to art – working and studying with both his father and older brother. In 1899, at the age of 16, Cortes exhibited his first work at the Société des Artistes Français entitled La Labour. The work was well received by the critics and the public – helping establish Édouard’s favorable reputation in Paris.
It was at the turn of the century, c.1900, that he began to paint the scenes that he would become most famous for – Paris’ streets and monuments. One of the more prolific artists of his time, Cortès had found his niche. His views of Paris are among the most beautiful images of this genre; capturing the city for more than 60 years.
He was an active member of the Union des Beaux-Arts de Lagny and was the Unions first president. Their inaugural exhibition was held in 1927 and Cortès continued to exhibit there until the late 1930’s.
During this period he received many awards, gained great notoriety and was a frequent exhibitor at the exhibition halls in Paris, including the Salon d’Automne.