Thursday 15 March 2012

Be inspired by: René Gruau

Do you know of René Gruau? I myself only heard of him a couple months ago. BUT, I for sure have seen and been inspired by his work throughout my whole life, without actually knowing of him. And it is very clear to me that he has had many followers in the illustration and advertising worlds. Looking at his pictures I am completely mesmarized by his skill and the casual ease in which he captures the essence of a garment or style. The text below is taken mainly from an article about him on Wikipedia. I have shortened it severely. The pictures are placed in a completely random order. Hope you enjoy! :-)

René Gruau was a renowned fashion illustrator whose exaggerated portrayal of fashion design through painting has had a lasting effect on the fashion industry. Gruau became one of the best known and favorite artists of the haute couture (high fashion) world during the 1940s and 50s.

Born in Italy 1909, Gruau was the son of an Italian count and a French aristrocrat. When René's mother and father separated when he was three, he moved to Paris with the mother. Gruau then took her last name. His passion and inclination for arts led him to a love and pursuance of fine arts.

At 14, Gruau began to support his mother and himself by selling drawings to the Milanese fashion journal Lidel. He demonstrated talent for drawing throughout much of his early life and worked as an illustrator for fashion magazines such as Femina, Marie Claire and Vogue in Paris in his teens and early 20s.

Gruau found it difficult to find work during World War II and ultimately found little work for small or unestablished designers such as Christian Dior before he became popular during this time.

Gruau's first position as artistic director for advertising was in 1947 with Christian Dior. The two together formed the "New Look" of the time, partially a result of Dior's designs, and partially a result of Gruau's combined interpretation and upgrading of old-style graphic illustration. Gruau formed a friendship with Dior that contributed to their successful collaboration and further enlargement of fashion advertisement, which a primary reason he is mostly remembered for his work with Dior.

Gruau, whose posters often echoed both classical Japanese drawings and Toulouse-Lautrec's sketches of fin de siècle Paris night life, was perhaps best known for creating the marketing images for Miss Dior perfume and for Rouge Baiser lipstick.

Gruau moved to the United States in 1948 to work for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. He remained with the magazine for two years, and then went to work as sole illustrator for Flair.

René Gruau passsed away in 2004 and remained artistically active up to a very high age. Today Gruau’s works are collected and exhibited by the finest art institutions including the Louvre in Paris.

Don't you feel inspired now? I hope so. I certainly do. :-)

All my best,


Courtney Breul said...

Thank you! Love his drawings - so alive.

Angel Whisperer said...

wonderful !! I really love the drama of those still "simple" drawings / paintings

KristiBowmanDesign said...

This is wonderful stuff, I enjoyed looking through and discovering this fabulous artist, thank you Malin!

steufel said...

Totally inspired!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing, Malin. That was a feast for the eyes!

Heidi Post said...

Oooh gorgeous illustrations! I love how easily he seems to capture movement. I especially love the book cover. Very inspired!

Karin Slaton said...

Inspired, indeed! I enjoyed scrolling through and being transported back to a time when silouettes were stunning and gloves were the finishing touch to an elegant ensemble.

H.T. said...

I was just about to miss that blog post:-)
I can admit,I am not very much keen on the modelling drawings,but they are always specific and sophisticated,featured for the use of the fashion advertisement.There are lots of artists specialized in this kind of drawings.Rene Gruau is one of the best in this area.He represents his own vision of women and the fashion.I'd say his drawings have 'a soul',I mean his way of the graphic techniques,color and the objects shown in his works:very 'courageous' lines-each of them means something,as if they were counted to create the special harmony of meanings and impressions.His drawings are emotional and expressive,modern and oldfashioned-all in one:-)
But for me...still and only one example of an artist showing the women in his original paintings,with the most beautiful way as can be is Alphons Mucha.Maybe because I'm still in love with Secession:-)