Born Karnik Zouloumian, Armenian-French artist Jean Carzou created countless masterpieces throughout his long artistic career. Other than oil paintings, he also worked in illustration design and stage art. He created illustrations for many great 20th century writers, including illustrations for various Hemingway and Albert Camus’s classic novels.
Carzou was born in the city of Aleppo in northern Syria, to an Armenian family. He created the stage name Carzou from the first syllables of his given name and surname. Even though he changed his name, his heart never strayed from Armenian traditions, nor did he forget his people’s struggles. He was educated in Cairo, before going to Paris in 1924 to study architecture. After graduating, he started work as a theater decorator, but soon dedicated himself to painting. From 1939 onwards, he held over 100 solo exhibitions across Paris, France, and the rest of the world. In 1976, Carzou’s work was featured on France’s stamps, the first contemporary artist to receive such honor. In 1977, he was elected a member of the Institut de France, Académie des beaux-arts.