Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Reader Request: René Bouché

The salon-style grouping of portraits and illustrations in Charlotte Moss' study never ceases to inspire -- whether it's the design enthusiast with a traditional bent or someone with a more modern aesthetic, everyone seems fascinated with this room.

Many of you have asked for specifics about the artists or photographers represented in her collection. One that I can identify is mid-century Vogue illustrator, René Bouché. His interpretation of a Christian Dior skirt and handbag shown above and below (larger work hung toward the far left), is just one of Ms. Moss' amazing acquisitions.

Bouché left Europe during World War II and ultimately landed at American Vogue. Although he is perhaps best known for his fashion illustrations, his portraits are also very expressive and sometimes abstract. If you Google Bouché, you most likely will find many charcoal drawings of 20th-century icons including Lucille Ball and Jackie Kennedy (his pre-inaugural portrait of JBK is pretty famous) so I've opted to share something different at the top of this blog post: his circa 1960 painting of Vogue's legendary editor Diana Vreeland. It vibrates with rich color and pattern that perfectly reflects her spirit.

Reproductions of vintage fashion illustrations are available here. But it can also be very satisfying to build a collection slowly over time as Moss did. Buy only what really moves you. Hunt for sketches -- or old books filled with drawings -- at flea markets, vintage stores, or online auctions. The images of Moss and her home are from House & Garden.

The Vreeland image is from Jacqueline Kennedy : The White House Years.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Courtney for finally helping solve the mystery!

Style Court said...

Happy to help Christine!

Pigtown*Design said...

Wasn't that picture of DV on the cover of one of her books, or a book about her?

Style Court said...

Meg -- not certain yet.

pve design said...

Oh this is so inspiring.
Off to the framer with lots of my illustrations to make a wall of fame.

simply seleta said...

This was a super delicious post. Charlotte Moss is so brilliant. Funny, I was just cruising through one of her books yesterday while visiting the bookstore with my bookworm son.

I may have to give PVE a holla' for my girl's room, wouldn't fashion illustrations be fun in there? So girly and divine. And whew, I'm dying to find the pre-inaugural portrait of JBK. Maybe I've seen it, but very curious now.

Great stuff here! You never disappoint.

Style Court said...

Seleta -- sounds like a great idea for your daughter's room! Thanks as always for the sweet words.