Louis Icart caught the elegance of the age in his drawings and prints of women during the Art Deco period. He designed for the major studios in the Parisian fashion world, at a time when it was changing radically from the fussiness of the late 19th century to the simple, clingy forms of the early 20th century.
Louis Icart was born in Toulouse, France. He began drawing at an early age. He was particularly interested in fashion, and became famous for his sketches almost immediately. He worked for major design studios at a time when fashion was undergoing a radical change-from the fussiness of the late nineteenth century to the simple, clingy lines of the early twentieth century.
Icart fought in World War I. He relied on his art to stem his anguish, sketching on every available surface. It was not until his move to Paris in 1907 that Icart would concentrate on painting, drawing and the production of countless beautiful etchings, which have served (more than the other mediums) to indelibly preserve his name in twentieth century art history. When he returned from the front he made prints from those drawings. The prints, most of which were aquatints and drypoints, showed great skill. Because they were much in demand, Icart frequently made two editions (one European, the other American) to satisfy his public. These prints are considered rare today.
By the late 1920s Icart, working for both publications and major fashion and design studios, had become very successful. His etchings reached their height of brilliance in this era of Art Deco, and Icart had become the symbol of the epoch. Yet, although Icart has created for us a picture of Paris and New York life in the 1920s and 1930s, he worked in his own style, derived principally from the study of eighteenth-century French masters such as Jean Antoine Watteau, François Boucher and Jean Honoré Fragonard.
In 1914 Icart had met an eighteen-year-old blonde named Fanny Volmers, at the time an employee of the fashion house Paquin. She would eventually become his wife and a source of artistic inspiration for the rest of his life.