Pastel, signed lower right
33 x 54 cm
Henri SAMOUILOV (1930-2014)
Born on December 25, 1930, Henri SAMOUILOV died on February 4, 2014.
Difficult to classify, Henri Samouilov does not belong to any school or movement; he chooses his own means of expression in spite of fashions and trends.
He started painting at the age of 17. He first apprenticed with a sculptor, then took classes at a school of drawing, illustration and advertising. Later he took evening classes in Montparnasse, and frequented the Grande Chaumière.
He lived most of his life in Yerres in a house whose plans he had drawn, with a large artist's studio, in which he never stopped painting, drawing, sculpting, ...
The studio on the mezzanine was open to the rest of the house; it was not a sacred place, one could sit with him, read or draw. On the other hand, very discreet and reserved about his tastes or motivations, Henri Samouilov did not like to talk about what he did, nor discuss art or painting. But it is in his work that we recognize all his inspirations: his taste for the poetry of La Fontaine, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Fombeure, or Henri James, his interest in Greek mythology...
He is very sensitive to surrealism: his themes and his imaginary universe weave links with the dream, the invisible, the shadows, the hidden or the underground. Moreover, he did not like strong light, literally and figuratively: He feared the sun, and did not like being exposed to it very much! He had chosen to create far from any fashion trends or commercial requirements.
He travelled very little and was mostly inspired by what was around him: the landscapes of the Mayenne countryside in the summer, or the portraits of his children and grandchildren. His daily train journeys from Yerres to the Gare de Lyon, then his long walks in Paris were also an important source of inspiration: suburban landscapes, railways, the banks of the Seine, Parisian façades, Pa