"Originally published in 1937, The Island of Bali by Covarrubias is still considered the most authoritative text on Bali and its fascinating people. A birds-eye view of Balinese life and culture, it includes a survey of the islands' history, geography and social structure, and paints a captivating picture of Balinese art, music and drama. Complementing the text are drawings, half-tone photographs and a full-color insert."
From Amazon.com where you can see many sample pages of text.
Bather Holding Up Her Kemban, gouache [A version of this brought in at auction $590,500 in 2012 at Christie's]
He was one of the greatest talents in the pre-World War II generation of illustrators.
José Miguel Covarrubias was born 22 November 1904 in Mexico City.
Following his graduation at the age of 14, from the elite Escuela Nacional Preparatoria, he began illustrating and drawing caricatures
for lit pieces published by the
At 19 he moved to New York City with a Mexican government grant and enormous talent, speaking little or no English. He surmounted this handicap by being quickly discovered by members of Manhattan's Smart Set. He soon began illustrating for top publications.
René Gruau was born in 1909 with an aristocratic title: Renato Conte de Savagli-Ricardelli, in Rimini on the Adriatic coast of Italy. His French mother, Maria Gruau de la Chesnaie, left his father when René was but three years old. While in his young teen years, he managed to sell some of his fashion sketches to magazines in France, Germany and Italy in 1923. He thereupon took the maiden name of his artist mother, Gruau, and reinvented himself as René Gruau. They moved together to Paris the following year.
His many accounts included Balmain, Givenchy, Schiaparelli, Jacques Fath and Edward Molyneux, and advertisers of high end textiles, automobiles and cognac. He also designed costumes and sets for the ballet. By 1940 his drawings appeared in Marie Claire, Femina, L'Officiel and Le Magazine de Figaro.
His most significant achievement was his collaboration with Christian Dior from 1947 through the end of the 20th century. While he was known as a fashion artist at the top of his field, I prefer to remember him as an exquisite designer as well, and offer these dynamic examples to prove the point.
Click on images to enlarge them.
René Gruau, Study of [famous French fashion model] Bettina, 1952
Advertisement for a glove manufacturer in Vogue (USA) 1955
His startling use of solid color and black set his work apart from others
More startling use of color and solid black combined with his signature heavy brush-drawn outline and intimate detail continued for decades
An earlier depiction of an Argentine tango utilized a lighter outline but similar use of solids
Very much stylistic Gruau with tension between the solid black hat, detailed flowers and a lovely portrait
A fantastic flow of design and color
More design than illustration
A sample of superior illustration carefully balanced with a compementary design
Two compelling portraits
Model Cindy Crawford showing off an original portrait by René Gruau
Greta Garbo, 1950
1983, with a partial close-up of the detail, below