Gouache, (1925), 31.9 x 23.5 cm.
Portrait of a swimmer wearing a red bathing cap, matching her lipstick. The bathing suit is standardized at the beginning of the twentieth by doctors, together with the practice of sea bathing. It is composed for women of a tunic and pants baggy: it is inappropriate to show oneself as to color his skin.
It was Coco CHANEL who in the 1920s imposed the fashion of the tan or tan, which becomes synonymous with luxury: we begin to strip the arms, legs and shoulders. The bathing suit can be enriched with accessories, such as bathrobe and hat. Very slight bites, tears and lack of drawing. Léon BENIGNI (1892-1948) illustrated Alfred de MUSSET (Bénézit, I, 624-25). He works mainly for the fashion press in France and abroad; he takes part in the magazines Vogue, Frou-Frou, Fantasio, Femina, Modes and Works, L’Officiel, Art-Taste-Beauty, Art and Industry … (France); Harper’s Bazaar (England); Die Dame and Elegant Welt (Germany); La Donna (Italy) (Dico Solo, 67). He produces advertisements for the following brands: Rouge Baiser, RIVAL (lipstick), Mauboussin, the liner L’Atlantique, Frigeco, the Brunswick fur, department stores (La Samaritaine, Le Bon Marché, La Grande Maison de Blanc, The Louvre, Spring), Ford …; the couturiers HERMES, Jeanne LANVIN, Jacques FATH, WORTH, Jean PATOU, SCHIAPARELLI, ROCHAS, Paul POIRET, Pierre IMANS …; he makes models for Koechlin fabrics, Prouvost spinning mills and Clark’s house (Forney Library – Golden Pages of the Advertising Edition, page 255).