Michel de Séréville

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Michel de Séréville, a French artist, was born in Saumur, France 28 April 1922, and died February 23, 2006 in Paris.


Michel de Séréville spent his childhood living between a medieval castle in a remote area of Lorraine, and an old family house in the Basque region. His father was a colonel in the Cadre Noir regiment.

After studying architecture at l'École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, in 1941 he started dancing ballet. He was noticed by Alexandre Volinine of the Russian Ballet, who was dancing partner to Anna Pavlova. This led to him becoming a professional dancer with the Great Ballet of the Marquis de Cuevas, the Modern Company of Ballet of Paris, and the Ballet of Dirck Sanders at the Comédie-Française.

In 1953, an injury to his leg ended his dancing career. Around this time Séréville started acting in theater and cinema. In 1954 he played several small roles with Laurent Terzieff and Jean-Marie Serreau and with Roger Blin and Michel Lonsdale at the Theater of Babylon in a play by Garcia Lorca. He also had a part in the 1960 Franco-Russian film Normandie-Niemen.

An amateur artist, Henri Filipacchi asked him to illustrate the covers of Livre de Poche in 1957, and in subsequent years more than four hundred covers and illustrations were published in France, including by “Hachette”, “Plon”, “Fayard”, “La Table Ronde”, and “JC Lattès”. Over a period of 18 years, Michel de Séréville illustrated the works of Henri Troyat, Graham Greene, François Mauriac, Simone de Beauvoir, Alain Decaux, and Maurice Druon, among others.

Michel de Séréville exhibited his art internationally, with exhibitions in France, the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, and Kenya. Significant Soviet exhibitions included: Kiev in 1966, Moscow in 1968, and Leningrad in 1970.

In 1975, Pierre Emmanuel, director of the newly created National Institute of the Audio-Visual, offered Séréville a retrospective personal exhibition of his illustrated work of the past 18 years in one edition, and a Television program featuring this was shown in France and the Soviet Union.

In 1975 Séréville shifted from illustration to painting. He painted prolifically, and had exhibitions in: Denver in 1982, 1983 in Cologne, Germany, 1984 in Valbonne, 1986 in Brussels and 1987 in the Netherlands, before a 1988 exhibition of the totality of his work at “Hotel Drouot”.

His last two exhibitions took place in 2003 at the International School of Kenya, in Nairobi and at the French Cultural Center.

He died on February 23, 2006 and is buried in Mouguerre.

External links[edit]

[1] in French