Monday, 31 August 2009

Off the shelf: Peynet

This drawing is from the book 'L'amour' by Raymond Peynet, published by Penguin, in paperback, in 1964. Peynet's work is just a little bit too soppy for my taste. When I did a lot of work for women's magazines, some years ago, my own drawings were once described to me as 'twee', but this guy was in another class altogether. Peynet's famous couple, Les Amoureux, is shown here sheltering from harp strings, and I have to admit it's the only drawing in the book I can appreciate without the aid of a sickbag. Tellingly his early work as an advertising designer involved illustrating chocolate boxes.
Here's a biographical sketch from the front of the book:

'Raymond Peynet was born in Paris in 1908. His first cartoon was published in the Boul'vardier, an English journal intended for English residents in Paris, when he was only twenty-two. He continued to illustrate books and publish cartoons until the war, since which his drawings have appeared in Ric & Rac, France-Dimanche, Ici-Paris, Le Rire, and, for the past ten years, in Lilliput, Men Only, and other journals in England, Germany and Denmark. He has also designed the décor fro a number of theatrical productions, including Love's Labour's Lost in French, and both décor and costumes for ballet, apart from numerous poster designs for films and advertising... Raymond Peynet married the original and only 'Elle' - an art student named Denise - and they live happily ever after, with their daughter, in a flat in Paris and a restored chateau in the south of France.'

Of course he didn't actually live forever, happily or otherwise. He died in 1999, three years after his wife. He's not on Wikipedia (the English language version), but you can read a more up-to-date biography in this Obituary from the Independent.

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