Paul Lucien Maze was born in Le Havre, Normandy in 1887. His father’s success as a tea merchant enabled the family to acquire artworks in the new Impressionist style. Paul Maze grew up with family friends including Claude Monet and Pierre-August Renoir, and spent time painting and sketching alongside Camille Pissarro and Raoul Dufy.
Maze served as a translator for the Royal Scots Greys in World War I, but was separated from his unit without documentation following the Retreat from Mons. Found by a British unit, Maze was sentenced to death on suspicion of operating as a spy. Fortunately, a chance encounter with a Royal Scots Grey granted Maze a last-minute reprieve.
He then served as a military draughtsman, and developed a close friendship with Sir Winston Churchill, who would write the preface to Maze’s autobiography. Churchill recalled that ‘with the fewest of strokes, he can create an impression at once true and beautiful.’
After the War, Maze immersed himself in the Parisian art scene, developing friendships with André Derain, André Dunoyer de Segonzac and Pierre Bonnard. He was particularly close with Edouard Vuillard, who encouraged his use of pastels, which he opined were best-suited to Maze’s artistic vision.
In 1952 Paul Maze was selected to record the funeral of King George VI, and was Official Painter of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation the following year. To many, Maze is remembered as ‘The Last Post-Impressionist’. His work is represented galleries across the world, including Tate and Getty.
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