Edouard Leon Cortes was born in the small town of Lagny, east of Paris. His father and grandfather were both accomplished artists who advised and trained the young Cortes. From the age of 17 he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
His early paintings reflected his life in the countryside, showing a strong relationship with nature. In 1901 his attention was drawn to Paris, the City of Light, and in 1902 he exhibited for the first time at the Societe des Artistes in Paris, his talent being noticed immediately. He also exhibited at the "Salon Des Independants", and the "Salon l'Hiver" . Over a period of time, his impressionistic technique, full of life and vitality, recorded the history of this ever-changing and bustling city. Cortes portrayed life in the French capital in all its moods, full of drama and romance. He is now considered to be one of the most popular Parisian artists of his period.
Cortes is listed in the French "Benezit" - Page #193, Vol. 3, printed in 1976.