Romain de Tirtoff (pseudonym Erté, a French pronounciation of initials R.T.) (November 23, 1892 - 1990) was a French artist and designer. Tirtoff was born as Roman Petrovich Tyrtov (Роман Петрович Тыртов) in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire in a very distingushed family with roots traced back to 1548. His father Pyotr Ivanovich Tyrtov was a Fleet Admiral. In 1910-1912 Romain gradually moved to Paris to persue a career of a designer. This decision was made over strong objections of his father, who wanted Romain to continue a familty tradition and to become a marine officer. Romain assumed the pseudomym to avoid disgracing the family. In 1915 he got his first significant contract with Harper's Bazaar magazine.