Shocking Shiaparelli Watercolor

Beverly Sacks -- This original watercolor is a Shocking Shiaparelli Perfume ad, created by Marcel Vertes around 1940 for a fragrance from the famous designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Marcel Vertes painted a bottle of Shocking perfume reclining in a hot pink hammock with a floating nude kissing couple above and a cupid-like figure below. It reads Shocking de Schiaparelli. I would guess that this painting would be "shocking" for that time period!


Shocking Schiaparelli Ad
21" x 18"
signed with a V


Marcel Vertes

Vertes was a Hungarian-born artist (Budapest, 1895) and he died in New York in 1961. Vertes is highly regarded as a painter, illustrator, and printmaker. He moved to Paris during World War I and became an artistic fixture on the Left Bank during the Roaring 20s, following in the artistic footsteps of Toulouse-Lautrec, Boutet, and Forain. His work consisted mainly of scenes of Paris street life, women, and circus and cabaret acts -- and he truly captured the flavor of Paris and the colorful period. Vertes studied in Paris as did many of the great French Impressionists.

World War II approached, and Vertes moved to New York. He had a great reputation as a fine artist and he plunged into book illustration. Ten years later, he returned to 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 John Huston film Moulin Rouge, about the life and times of artist Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). In real life, Vertes had earned his tuition money for his European education by making forgeries of Lautrec's works! Vertes' physical hand is actually shown in the movie Moulin Rouge as the actor drawing for Toulouse-Lautrec, and his images were used in the film and given appropriate credit in the trailer.

Marcel Vertes shows up in the production credits as Color Production Designer and Costume Designer for the Moulin Rouge film, along with Elsa Schiaparalli. They jointly won the British Academy Film award in 1952 for Best Costume Design for this picture.


Visit the Beverly Sacks Fine Art online gallery for more information on Beverly and her works.

Jay Johnson1 Comment