Jacques Houplain Biography

Jacques Houplain




Jacques Houplain was born on September 10, 1920 at Luneray, Seine-Maritime, France but spent his childhood and early schooling in Paris.

In 1940 he enrolled at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris, studying painting with artist Robert Poughéon but interrupted his studies to join the underground between 1942 and 1945. He re-enrolled in Fine Arts in 1945 and began to study etching with Art Deco artist Jean Dupas. He was soon accepted to exhibit his work with the gallery Sagot - Le Garrec in Paris where he met Pierre Guastalla, Edouard Georg.

In 1946, Houplain was appointed titular member of the Jeune Gravure Contemporain. He exhibited his paintings at the Salon des moins de 30 ans exhibition in Paris which had been created by Madame Schilde-Bianchini. He later was invited to exhibit by the Society of French Painters-Engravers at the National Library. He also began designing stained glass boxes for the master glass maker Louis Barillet.

Parallel to his study of engraving, he began to study the history of art. In 1947, he was a fellow for the Maison Descartes in Amsterdam, which led him to study the engraved work of Hercules Seghers, the seventeenth century Dutch engraver who influenced Rembrandt.

Houplain then studied at the Estienne School in Paris to learn the range of bibliophilic practices and techniques that would be used during the production of his illustrated books. In 1949 he won the Abd-el-Tif Prize which allowed him to study for two years in Algiers.

After returning to Paris in 1951 he taught art history at the École des Arts Appliqués while continuing his work as an engraver. In 1956 he became an official member of the Society of French Painters-Engravers. It was here he met the Japanese ex-patriot printmaker Kiyoshi Hasegawa who became an influence on his work.