Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Irresistibly Delectable Eye Candy
Two words: Pure Glamour.
René Gruau, fashion illustrator extraodinaire, sometimes with intricate attention to detail, at other moments with a few broad strokes of his brush, captured post war glamour with its sizzle, sparkle, humor and sensuousness better than any other artist in the history of the métier.
Recently a friend and I were discussing fashion illustration and at the same instant both of us said, Gruau (!)
He collaborated with Givenchy, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Schiaparelli and Dior among other "brands" and fashion creators and left an indelible legacy that far surpassed an illustration designed to sell a product. He was an artist in the truest sense of the word. At the same time his flair captured the essence of the esprit, whimsey, desire and aspirations of women, and I would argue, continues to do so. Clearly, a glance at his paintings and you know he loved women.
His work is in some of the world's most important museums, including the Louvre, and many of his oeuvres have been sold at the finest auction houses, Christie's among them.
In his biography, explaining that his real name was Renato Zavagli Ricciardelli, born in Italy, February 4, 1909, to an Italian count and a French aristocrat, Maria Gruau, he is described as an artist who: ". . .defines with glamour and sensuality a feminine universe made of luxury, frivolity, futility and narcissism as the most natural thing in the world."
I think frivolity has an irresistible charm, maybe we should have a little bit more in our lives. I think too narcissism is unfair. I think he painted divine women who loved to dress up, make up and get out there to have a good time. If that's narcissism, bring it on.