From the 'Tour de France' learning method.

Henri Samouilov was a French painter and sculptor, creating many personal works of art in his Yerres house atelier. During the 1960s and 1970s, he also made illustrations for language teaching methods, often with sequential segments.

Early life
Born in 1930, Samouilov started painting at age seventeen. After being a sculptor's apprentice, he attended evening classes at the famous Montparnasse workshop La Grande Chaumière. At the École Estienne in Paris, he learned engraving and woodcut. Throughout his career, the artist chose his own means of expression, in spite of fashions and trends.

Painter & sculptor
Samouilov spent most of his life painting, sculpting and carving in his self-designed house atelier in Yerres, a town not far from Paris. Besides summer visits to rural Mayenne and long walks through the streets of Paris, he travelled very little. Described as a "modest artist who cultivated discretion," he mostly painted what was around him, resulting in portraits of family members, countryside landscapes and impressions of suburban railway tracks, Parisian cafes, tramp-filled streets and the animals of the Jardin des Plantes. His interest in Surrealism and the world of dreams brought forth representations of tales, legends, mythologies and nightmares. Not part of any artistic movement, Samouilov refused to reveal his motivations on convictions, but his work reveals inspiration from the poetry of La Fontaine, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Fombeure and Henri James, as well as his interest in Greek mythology. Samouilov's work remained figurative until the 1980s, when he experimented with abstract art. His work has been exhibited in galleries in Paris, Montpellier and Dinan.

From the 'Tour de France' learning method.

Although in general he stayed clear from any form of commercialism, a few illustration works by Henri Samouilov are known. During the 1960s and 1970s, he made the drawings for a series of schoolbooks, in commission of the Swedish publisher Gleerup. These include the French high school language teaching method 'Tour de France', as well as a similar course for the Spanish language, both created by Kaj Heurlin. His drawings are in black-and-white with a single spot color, and frequently feature sequential narratives or speech balloons. The Heurlin books were also used abroad; Dutch editions of the teaching methods were published by Thieme. Other books with Samouilov illustrations are the cook book 'La Cuisine des Fleurs (Éditions Dominique Halévy, 1969) and 'Le Bridge' (Éditions Hatier, 1982).

Henri Samouilov passed away in February 2014, leaving behind a workshop filled with oil paintings, pastels, charcoals and sculptures. Posthumously, in April-May 2015, Jean-Claude Réno exhibited a selection of Samouilov's landscapes on the walls of his Montpellier gallery. The website offers a virtual tour of the artist's house studio.

(Photo from

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