René Gruau (Covignano 1909 - Rome 2004)

Woman in a Lanvin Dress Sold

Brush and black ink, sprayed watercolour, over traces of an underdrawing in pencil. A made up section at the lower left corner.
Signed Gruau at the lower right, and dedicated by the artist to Gene, / with my friendship / and my sincere admira- / tion for his talent / René at the upper right.
435 x 327 mm. (17 1/8 x 12 7/8 in.)

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The present sheet depicts a dress in white chiffon designed by Antonio Canovas del Castillo for the House of Lanvin, and was used as a full-page illustration in the fashion magazine L’Officiel in May 19532. Gruau’s illustration was captioned ‘Robe de grand soir de Jeanne Lanvin (Castillo) en mousseline blanche à pois noirs que des noeuds en ruban de moire d’un rouge écarlate ponctuant de leur note vive. L’ampleur souple de ce modèle est tout à fait marquante.’ The distinctive technique of ‘sprayed’ dots of pigment in the background of this drawing is a characteristic feature of Gruau’s drawings of the first half of the 1950’s.

Provenance:
Given by the artist to Gene Loyd in c.1953
Given by Loyd to a Dr. Ettinger
Private collection, until 2010.

Literature:
‘Pour être à la page’, L’Officiel de la Couture et de la Mode de Paris, March 1953, p.205.

René GRUAU

Woman in a Lanvin Dress

475

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