Oft-celebrated for his glamorous depictions of women, 20th century Franco-Italian illustrator René Gruau’s artistic treatment of the stronger sex is the subject of a new book out this month by Assouline. Né Renato Zavagli Ricciardelli delle Caminate- yes, that was his real name- Gruau’s decades-standing collaboration with the House of Dior yielded some of the most iconic fashion illustrations of the New Look era and beyond, not to mention several perfume and advertising campaigns in his signature line-heavy style, influenced by Belle Époque artist [Henri de] Toulouse-Lautrec. Rene Gruau’s Portraits of Men features advertising and editorial imagery for various magazines (Sir, Club, etc) and brands (Bemberg, Dior, Eminence, Dormeuil, etc) as well as personal sketches and studies for films. A revolutionary artist, these occasionally-risqué depictions of men were considered shocking in their time.
Below, a series of sample pages from this new must-have tomé by Réjane Bargiel and Sylvie Nissen.
Illustration for Dormeuil in Atlas magazine, 1982
Croquis from Sir magazine, 1959 – 1969
Illustration for Dormeuil (1982)
On the left, illustration for Bemberg (Italy), circa 1984; right: project for Jules perfume, Dior (1979)
Double page from Sir magazine (no. 1, 1966)
Illustration for Eminence, 1975
On the left, above: illustration for the magazine International Textiles (1956), below: illustration for Dormeuil (1985); on the right, illustration for Miss Dior perfume (1971)
On the left, personal sketch (1981); right: study for La Dolce Vita by Federico Fellini (1981)
Illustration for the cover of Sir magazine, 1965