Ivan Da Silva Bruhns today is a celebrated rug genius. However, Da Silva had a unique history before he developed the famous signature rugs we know and love today. Born in Paris to two Brazilian parents in the year 1881, Ivan Da Silva Bruhns grew up studying biology and medicine, eventually serving as a doctor during World War 1. However, during his time serving, he dreamed of becoming a painter and pursuing his passion for painting and art.
By the 1920’s, after simultaneously working in medicine whilst pursuing art, Ivan Da Silva Bruhns dropped his medicine career to focus solely on painting. He began getting acquainted with famous Art Deco artists of the time, and soon developed a style alluding to cubism influenced by Picasso’s work. Bruhns soon developed a strong interest for non-Western art which led his passions to develop into rug weaving, contrary of painters of his time. It was the right choice for Da Silva as throughout the 1920’s and 30’s his now vintage rugs were featured in the Paris Exposition Coloniale an international exhibition for modern decorative arts.
Da Silva’s rugs evolved throughout his time. Starting off with a cubism approach, he used his art deco history to influence the designs of his rugs. Using one or two brighter complementary colors, large overlapping geometric patterns and bold lines were characteristics of his earlier rugs.
By 1925 Da Silva had gained international fame. He was awarded first prize in textiles at the International Exposition for Decorative Arts in Paris France and opened his own workshop in Savigny-Sur-Orge where he worked exclusively from.
Towards the 1930’s and 40’s Silva Bruhns rugs developed into a more personal style. Rejecting artistic norms, he sought out to create freely. The rugs of this age featured uniquely simplistic designs, large fields of one neutral color and some minimalist abstract but separated patterns. Bruhns even experimented with weaving non-conforming shapes, mixing round and square and leading a revolution in rug designs with his take on Art Deco. He sometimes signed his rug with a cryptic monogram signature and other times he signed his name.
He continued working throughout his life, creating luxury rugs. But World War 2, put a stop to sales. Till this day however, rugs woven by Ivan Da Silva Bruhns are some of the most coveted and important decorative antique rug art pieces.