Marcel Vertès

Born. 10.08.1895 in Budapest
Died. 31.10.1961 in New York

Hungarian painter, graphic artist. Illustrator and stage designer (Oscar winner).

About the artist


Marcel Vertès (originally Marcell Vértes). Born August 10, 1895, in Budapest, Hungary. His career started after he began drawing sketches of corpses, criminals, and prostitutes for a sensationalistic magazine in Budapest. This was followed by illustrations for a lot of secretly printed publications opposing the ruling monarchy at the end of WWI.

He moved from Hungary to Vienna, and then to Paris at the end of WW1. where he studied at the Julian Academy whilst working and living in the Latin Quarter. He soon fitted in with the Paris art scene as he produced much lighter and more lyrical works. During his time in Paris, he focussed on illustrations, paintings, and printmaking, and had a great interest in lithography. He moved to New York to make contacts in 1935 and held his first one-man show in New York two years later.

At the end of WWII, He began to divide his time between New York and Paris. A decade later, he returned to Paris and lived the remaining years of his life there, occasionally flying back to visit the United States.

While in the United States he became a consultant for the 1952 award-winning film Moulin Rouge, about the life and times of artist Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). He won two Academy Awards for ‘Best Art Direction’ and ‘Best Costume Design’.

Marcel Vertès died in Paris on October 31, 1961, aged 66.