René Gruau (Covignano 1909 - Rome 2004)

The Yellow Ribbon Sold

Gouache, brush and black ink.
Signed *Gruau at the lower right.
394 x 313 mm. (15 1/2 x 12 3/8 in.)


The present sheet was formerly in the collection of the artist, writer and fashion editor Fleur Cowles (1908-2009), who founded the magazine Flair in 1950. Lavishly designed and produced, the magazine was short-lived, however, and only twelve issues were published between February 1950 and January 1951. The magazine was known for its bold design, lavish production, keyhole covers and expensive stock. It was never a financially successful publication; each issue sold for fifty cents but cost $1.26 to produce. Among the contributors to the first issue of the magazine were Lucian Freud, W. H. Auden, Jean Cocteau and Tennessee Williams. Cowles engaged Gruau on an exclusive contract to produce illustrations for Flair, and was largely responsible for establishing the artist’s reputation in America.

Several years after the present sheet was drawn, Gruau reused the pose of the model for an advertisement for Jantzen swimwear, published in the magazine Club in 1970.

Commissioned from the artist by Fleur Cowles, New York, London and Sussex.


The Yellow Ribbon


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