Two Art Deco costume designs by René Ranson, one of the major designers during the heyday of the Parisian music hall revue in the period between the two world wars. Endiamantées (which literally means “covered in glittering material,” e.g. sequins) is an elaborately constructed concoction in white with peekaboo cutouts, incorporating a tall headdress, lots of feathers, two long tassels hanging from the hips, and rows of beads connected to the costume from the wrists and headdress. In the lower left corner is a light pencil sketch of the costume from the back, in the artist’s hand. Les Notes de Musiques shows costumes on two showgirls, one in black, one in white, high-stepping down a staircase. The hats and round pillow-like structures they wear on their hips are designed to resemble musical notes when the dancers are seen in profile. The bodices are embroidered with a musical staff and G clef. The designs are rendered with precise, detailed draftsmanship of a very high quality.
René Ranson was a French costume designer, considered among the great heirs to the design tradition of the Ballets Russes. He worked for the Folies Bergère from 1924 to 1932, and along with contemporaries such as Erté, supplied costumes to the Max Weldy studio in Paris, which marketed them around the world. Ranson also designed for other theaters, such as the Paris Opera, and for several movie studios, including Paramount, Fox, and Pathé. During World War II, Ranson took part in the French Resistance and designed for their publications.
Condition: Each generally very good with the usual overall toning, wear, handling. Minor edge wear, can be matted out. Some tape residue backside margins, showing through only in bottom margin of Musique and can be matted out. Some light mat toning from former matting, can be rematted out. Some light skinning to backside from former mountings not affecting the front.
Reference:“Artistes.” Collection Piollet. 2008. http://www.collection-piollet.com/fr/artists.php (26 September 2008).