Louis Justin Laurent Icart was born in Toulouse, a culturally rich city in the South of France, in 1890. Icart entered the I’Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Toulouse in order to study business, particularly banking, which was the profession of his father. He soon discovered the play writings of Victor Hugo and it was through his love of theatre that he developed a taste for the arts, though his urge to paint was not as strong as his yearning to act. It was not until Icart’s move to Paris in 1907 that he would begin to concentrate on painting and drawing.
The term Art Deco, coined in 1925 at the Paris Exposition des Arts Decoratifs, had captured Paris. During this time, Icart was working for both publications and major fashion and design studios. His etchings reached their height in brilliance during the Art Deco era. Although Icart created a picture of Paris and New York life in the 1920s, he also worked in his own style modeled after the 18th century French masters such as Jean Antoine Watteau.
The Art Deco era was a period of perfection and is reflected in his etching work and craftsmanship; it was also a period of sophistication. Women at the time were losing the overflow of lace, cotton and high necklines replacing it with clothing that clung to the body. These new trends in society can be scene in his art and illustrations for the magazine Luxe de Paris.
His portrayal of women is usually sensuous, erotic and permeates a feeling of humor. The women of France express passion, dismay or surprise, they are the women we imagined them to be.