Book Spotlights René Gruau's Illustrations

“Gruau Portraits of Men” will be published by Assouline next month.

René Gruau Gruau Portraits of Men book

A René Gruau illustration.

Photo By Courtesy of René Gruau SARL

MASCU-LINE: René Gruau’s illustrations might be synonymous with French glamour, but a new book from Assouline spotlights his lesser-known drawings of men.

“Gruau Portraits of Men,” by Sylvie Nissen and Réjane Bargiel, features his illustrations for magazines including Club and Sir: Men’s International Fashion Journal, in addition to advertising campaigns such as the controversial series for Christian Dior’s Eau Sauvage fragrance, featuring men in varying states of undress.

In addition, a section entitled “Gruau’s Sketchbooks” showcases previously unpublished clothing designs that he made for a planned “Dior pour hommes” collection, shortly before Dior’s untimely death in 1957 put an end to the project.

Nissen, who is the beneficiary of Gruau’s estate, said the artist showed a different facet of his personality in his portraits of men.“The women he drew were all about seduction, lightness and glamor,” she said. “One gets the feeling that he is much more assured when he paints men. He really loosens up.”

The 260-page book, priced at $95, is scheduled to go on sale in the United States on Nov. 9 at Assouline stores and on assouline.com. The launch will be accompanied by an exhibition of Gruau’s drawings at the Pampaloni showroom in Miami from Dec. 3 to Feb. 15, designed to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach.