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Jean Boullet

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Jean Boullet born December 12, 1921 in Neuilly-sur-Seine and died in Algeria in Annaba on November 2, 1970, is a French painter, draftsman, illustrator, film critic and writer.[1]


Jean Boullet was the son of a cat fur trader on the Avenue d'Italie, Henri Boullet, who committed suicide by hanging. In his very catholic childhood, he spent his summers in Isdes, in a house that he would keep. He began to paint in 1942, mainly portraits. He made a name for himself as a draftsman and illustrator in Saint-Germain-des-Prés immediately after the war. He illustrated both a book by Daniel-Rops, the Catholic writer (This face that looks at us), and the sulphurous work - banned by censorship - by Boris Vian, I will go to spit on your graves, texts of Edgar Poe, Raymond Asso, poems by Villon, Verlaine. In 1948, he was the author of the sets for the play J'irai cracher sur vos graves which Boris Vian took from his homonymous novel and which he signed with his real name4.

Jean Boullet is also a film critic who venerates the fantastic and horror films that can be seen at the Midi-Minuit cinema on the Grands Boulevards. To show the even rarer films that he loves, he set up a private film club in his house on rue Bobillot: the Société des Amis de Bram Stoker. He will also be with Michel Caen, Alain Le Bris and Jean-Claude Romer, the co-founder of the film review Midi Minuit Fantastique (1962-1971). This magazine was published by Éric Losfeld. Midi Minuit Fantastique was dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction films5. Jean Boullet retired from writing in 1966.

Fundamentally libertarian, anticlerical, enemy of established orders and personally launched into a frantic quest for the bizarre and the forbidden, Jean Boullet is also passionate about many other themes: sexology, illusionism, magic, demonology, popular mythology… In December 1965, he opened a bookshop, Le Kiosque, at 79, rue du Château, specializing in these themes and in collectible comics. Crippled with debts, he closed shop at the beginning of 1969, and in August, he moved to Algeria, to Ouargla to run a bookstore there.

On several occasions he traveled to the Maghreb, notably to Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, but also to Senegal and Sudan, from where he brought back many drawings.

During the summer of 1970, he decided to leave Ouargla for the south, and undertake a trip, while keeping his bookstore. During one of the stages of this trip, at the end of December, he was discovered in Tébessa, south of Constantine, according to the Algerian police report, hanging from a tree. According to the confidences of the writer Roger Peyrefitte, Jean Boullet was stabbed to death.

His workshop was dispersed on April 23, 1971 in Paris, by Guy Loudmer, Hervé Poulain and Pierre Cornette de Saint Cyr.


Openly homosexual, proclaiming himself "painter of male beauty", he multiplied the drawings or paintings of a homoerotic aesthetic somewhat inspired by that of Jean Cocteau.

Jean Boullet, during his life, met the Tout-Paris whose names were then: Édith Piaf, Michel Déon, Marie-Laure de Noailles, Jean Cocteau, Juliette Gréco, Jacques Chazot, Piéral (from 1942), Sacha Guitry , Marcel Carné, Roland Lesaffre, Kenneth Anger, Félix Labisse, Lise Deharme, Michel Laclos, Elliott Stein, Jacques Courtois…

He was also a friend of Max Jacob1. A portrait in Indian ink made by him in 1943 representing the Breton poet wearing the yellow star is now preserved and presented at the Museum of Fine Arts in Quimper.


  1. "Birth record".

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