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Rare Edouard Cortes painting appears at Rehs Galleries after 114 years
Place de la Republique en Soir - an early Edouard Cortes that dates from circa 1905.

NEW YORK, NY.- Rehs Galleries Inc., a New York gallery specializing in 19th and 20th-century works of art, announces the discovery of Place de la Republique en Soir - an early Edouard Cortes that dates from circa 1905.

Born in Lagny, France, on August 6th, 1882, into a family of artists, Edouard followed the family tradition and started training with his father at an early age. In 1899, at the age of 16, he made his debut at the Paris Salon with Le Labour, a painting which clearly owed a debt to both Realist and Naturalist painters as well as his father and brother. The work’s acceptance by the Salon jury signaled that the artist showed great promise. The critics agreed. Le Figaro proclaimed: “His style and his color have greatly impressed the jury. Young Cortès did, of course, attend a good school: we all know what a talented artist his father is.” The newspaper Le Matin commented that Cortès was “A little chap, only so high, who by rights should still be wearing out the seat of his trousers on his school bench, but who, nonetheless, with his light touch, has already entered canvasses for the Salon…” Over the next few years, the young painter continued to study with his father, living with his parents in Lagny and sending several paintings each year for consideration by the Salon jury. His work was included in the annual exhibition in 1901, 1902 and 1903.

By 1905, Edouard began exploring the streets of Paris – a theme that would not only inspire him for the remainder of his life but bring him financial success. While the earliest examples were very impressionistic, the works became more realistic rather quickly. Place de la Republique en Soir is one of the finest and earliest examples from his more refined style to have surfaced. The painting captures Republique on a dark night with a colorful glow of light emanating from the shop windows, street lamps and trolley. This formula would prove extremely fruitful for the young artist.

While Place de la Republique en Soir came from a collection in France, its early history remains a mystery. Mr. Rehs comments that “After receiving the initial images I was intrigued and followed up to learn more about the work and its condition. The seller informed me that to their knowledge, the painting had never been on the market and was in perfect condition. I asked for some additional images to assess the condition, and then we took the plunge. The painting arrived at the gallery a short time later, and we were pleased to see that it was not only a great example but in excellent condition – something we rarely see in works by Cortes from this period.” The gallery had the painting cleaned, framed, and is now presenting it for sale.

Today, Rehs Galleries is the world’s preeminent dealer in Edouard Cortes’s work with more than 500 paintings passing through their hands. In the past two years alone, the gallery has bought and sold more than 65 paintings by the artist. Also on view at the gallery is another painting of Place de la Republique that Cortes did in 1949. Mr. Rehs went on to state that “it is interesting to view the two paintings side-by-side. You immediately see how the people and streets of Paris changed over the 45 years.”

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