Everybody loves Raymond’s art.
We’ve mentioned artist and fashion designer Raymond Brenot, aka Pierre-Laurent Brenot a couple of times before in relation to the French magazine V. This is the first time we’ve seen his work on a book cover. It’s a copy of Journal d'une chambre de femme by Jean-Albert Foëx, and it was published by E.D.I.C.A. in 1958 as part of their Collection Le Mauvais Oeil, or Evil Eye Collection. Brenot’s cool cover also wraps onto the rear of the book, as you can see below.
Whatever it was called, we love it.
More from France today with V magazine of winter 1965. This particular issue, in the masthead in extremely small print, reveals that V is short for Voilà. Other issues we have do not mention that, so it’s news to us, and probably to many other people as well, especially because we shared an issue a while back that clearly says on the cover “Supplement au No. 445 de Voir Magazine.” So it is Voilà, Voir, or just V? To tell the truth, we wondered in the past if the 1950s V was the same as the earlier magazine that published through the ’40s, but it was. The publisher, editor, and even the street address changed, but we’ve seen an issue from 1949 that shows an unmistakable visual transition between the two versions. If indeed the magazine was ever actually called Voilà, or Voir, the full name never appeared on the cover, as far as we know. Speaking of covers, this one was painted by Raymond Brenot, aka Pierre-Laurent Brenot, who was both an artist and a successful fashion designer, and he joined a special fraternity of brilliant V cover artists such as René Caille, Jean David, and Georges Pichard. The interior illustrations are from Brenot, Pichard, Le Gano, Renoir and others. Plus there are photos of Margaret Lee, Catherine Frank, Mara Berni, Liten Østern, dancer Sonia Vareuil, et.al. Generally, the more a magazine costs us the more pages we scan, just so we can feel like we got our money’s worth. This one was ten euros, so below are more than thirty images for your enjoyment.
, V Magazine
, Raymond Brenot
, Pierre-Laurent Brenot
, Margaret Lee
, Georges Pichard
, Catherine Frank
, Sonia Vareuil
, Mara Berni
, Liten Østern
, Loretta Capitoli
, Le Gano
, Pierre-Auguste Renoir
, Jean David
, René Caille
, magazine art
V employed three of the most talented but least-known pin-up artists of the pulp era.
The French magazine V is probably one of the most visually pleasing and collectible periodicals ever published. The early issues featured photo-illustrations of movie stars, but starting in the 1950s V began to showcase provocative pin-up style cover paintings from a succession of three artists—Georges Pichard, René Caille and Jean David. All were geniuses; none are well known outside collectors circles and France, where they lived and worked. But popularity is never a true measure of value—Pichard, Caille and David Vs can go at auction for thirty, forty, or even fifty dollars. We've seen them listed for even more, though those went unsold as far as we can tell. Vs with Pierre-Laurent Brenot covers are also highly regarded. This one, V Sélections 57, with a Pichard cover and Brigitte Bardot, Christine Carère and Marilyn Monroe inside, dates from winter 1957. We have a couple more of these we’ll share in their entirety as soon as we get in the mood to do the scanning. Meantime see some 1940s V covers here and here.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1930—Chrysler Building Opens
In New York City, after a mere eighteen months of construction, the Chrysler Building opens to the public. At 1,046 feet, 319 meters, it is the tallest building in the world at the time, but more significantly, William Van Alen's design is a landmark in art deco that is celebrated to this day as an example of skyscraper architecture at its most elegant.
1969—Jeffrey Hunter Dies
American actor Jeffrey Hunter dies of a cerebral hemorrhage after falling down a flight of stairs and sustaining a skull fracture, a mishap precipitated by his suffering a stroke seconds earlier. Hunter played many roles, including Jesus in the 1961 film King of Kings, but is perhaps best known for portraying Captain Christopher Pike in the original Star Trek pilot episode "The Cage".
1938—Alicante Is Bombed
During the Spanish Civil War, a squadron of Italian bombers sent by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to support the insurgent Spanish Nationalists, bombs the town of Alicante, killing more than three-hundred people. Although less remembered internationally than the infamous Nazi bombing of Guernica the previous year, the death toll in Alicante is similar, if not higher.
1977—Star Wars Opens
George Lucas's sci-fi epic Star Wars premiers in the Unites States to rave reviews and packed movie houses. Produced on a budget of $11 million, the film goes on to earn $460 million in the U.S. and $337 million overseas, while spawning a franchise that would eventually earn billions and make Lucas a Hollywood icon.
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