Edouard Henri Leon Cortès, (French, 1882-1969)
Place de la République at night
Oil on canvas
54 x 81cm (21 1/4 x 31 7/8in).
The Place de la République is a square in Paris, located on the border between the 3rd, 10th and 11th arrondissements. It is named after the French Republic and was called the Place du Château-d'Eau until 1879. The Métro station of République lies beneath the square.
The square was originally called the Place du Château d'Eau, named after a huge fountain designed by Pierre-Simon Girard and built on the site in 1811. Émile de La Bédollière wrote that the water came from la Villette and that the fountain was "superb" in character. In 1867, Gabriel Davioud built a more impressive fountain in the square, which (like the first fountain) was decorated with lions. The square took its current shape as part of Baron Hausmann's vast renovation of Paris. More The Place de la République
Edouard Léon Cortès (1882–1969) was a French post-impressionist artist of French and Spanish ancestry. He is known as "Le Poete Parisien de la Peinture" or "the Parisian Poet of Painting" because of his diverse Paris cityscapes in a variety of weather and night settings. Cortes 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.
Although Cortès 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 the reassigned to utilize his artistic talent to sketch enemy positions. Later in life his convictions led him to refuse the Légion d'Honneur from the French Government. In 1919 he was demobilized.
Cortès lived a simple life amid a close circle of friends. He died on November 28, 1969, in Lagny, and has a street named in his honor. More on Edouard Léon Cortès
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