Erté (ĕrtā`), 1892–1990, French designer and illustrator, b. St. Petersburg as Romain de Tirtoff. He moved to France and worked for a time sketching for Paul Poiret and designing opera and theater costumes. Between 1914 and the 1930s he created many magazine covers for Harper's Bazaar. In the United States he worked for Flo Ziegfeld and designed costumes for the film Ben Hur (1959). Influenced by Indian miniatures, his designs, illustrations, and drawings were sophisticated and highly stylized.