A contemporary of Christian Dior
, Gruau concocted some of the fashion houses headiest fragrance and fashion advertisement images.
He managed to create a whole mood, and evoke a sense of luxury and glamour, with such an incredibly intuitive use of line and the employment of block colour, Joy McCall, head of Christie's 20th Century Decorative Art and Design department, told us.
The six lots in Wednesdays auction include a Christian Dior drawing, magazine illustrations and theatrical posters, such as this design promoting the Gala Revue.
Gruaus drawings will go under the hammer following furniture and decorative lots from Gio Ponti, Alvar Aalto and Arne Jacobson. The sale also includes a sculptural side table by Eileen Gray, a designer favoured by Yves Saint Laurent
(a Gray armchair from the Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé collection set an auction record for 20th century decorative art when it sold for 21.9m in 2009).
Theres been a reappraisal of Gruaus importance, and weve found that the market has an appetite for his work that hasnt been there in the past, McCall says, noting that recent sales of Gruaus work have achieved staggering priceshis Reverie drawing from 1980 sold for $218,500 last June.
The timelessness of his work means theres a freshness still thats relevant to the contemporary market.
Click here to see the works going to auction...