Marcel Vertes, Hungarian/French (1895 - 1961)

Marcel Vertes

Marcel Vertes: An outstanding twentieth century painter, printmaker and illustrator, Marcel Vertes moved from his native Hungary to Paris during the First World War. Living and working in the famous Latin Quarter, Vertes quickly established himself as one of the most important artists of the Paris scene, thus continuing in the footsteps of Boutet, Forain, Toulouse-Lautrec and others. The art of Marcel Vertes was at its peak during the vibrant and somewhat wild decade of the 1920’s. Concentrating upon scenes of Paris street life, portrayals of women and depictions of circus and cabaret acts, Vertes left a legacy of original lithographs and drawings that superbly capture the spirit of 1920’s Paris.


Like many other artists, the devastation of the Second World War forced Vertes to move to the United States. Settling in New York his reputation as a great artist had been firmly established and he continued his fine work, most particularly in the field of book illustration. Ten years later, he returned to his beloved Paris and spent the remaining years of his life there.

Marcel Vertes was a consultant to the Producers and set Designers of the 1952 Award Winning film Moulin Rouge, about the life and times of artist Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec(1864-1901). In real life, Marcel earned his tuition money for his European education by making forgeries of Lautrec's works! Marcel's hand is actually shown in the movie, Moulin Rouge as the actor drawing for the late Toulouse Lautrec, and his images were accordingly was used in the film and given appropriate credit in the trailer to the film! Marcel studied in Paris and followed many of the footsteps of the great French Impressionists.

Marcel Vertes shows up in the Production credits as Color Production Designer, and Costume Designer for the film, with Schiaparalli (the same of Paris, and Italy). They both jointly won the British Academy Film award in 1952 for Best Costume Design for this picture

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