Maurice Boitel

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Maurice Boitel in 1946

Maurice Boitel (July 31, 1919 – August 11, 2007) was a French painter.


Artistic life

Boitel belonged to the art movement called "La Jeune Peinture" ("Young Picture") of the School of Paris, [1] with painters like Bernard Buffet, Yves Brayer, Jansem, Jean Carzou, Louis Vuillermoz, Pierre-Henry, Daniel du Janerand, Gaston Sébire, Paul Collomb, Jean Monneret, Jean Joyet and Gaëtan de Rosnay.

A precocious vocation

He was born in Tillières-sur-Avre, Eure département , in Normandy, from a Picard lawyer father, a member of the Saint Francis third order, and from a Parisian mother, of Burgundian ancestry. Until the age of twelve Maurice Boitel lived in Burgundy at Gevrey-Chambertin. In this beautiful province his art reflected his major love of nature, and also the feeling of joie de vivre expressed in his works. He began drawing at the age of five.

Fine arts studies

Boitel studied at the Fine Arts schools of Boulogne-sur-Mer and of Amiens, cities where his parents lived for a few years. Then his family came back to Burgundy, to Nuits-Saint-Georges. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy of Dijon before fighting in a mountain light infantry platoon at the beginning of World War II.

He successfully sat the competitive examination to enter the National Academy of Fine Arts École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Paris). In 1942 and 1943, during the most difficult period of the German occupation, in his studio located in the center of Paris he hid Jewish refugees, among them the journalist Henry Jelinek.

A great number of his paintings from between 1942 and 1946 were bought by a British collector and are still in London.

Exhibitions, awards and "Salons"

He was the guest of honor in several exhibitions of painting like: Rosny-sous-Bois (1980), Blois (1983), Wimereux (1984), Villeneuve-le-Roi (1984), Yvetot (1986), Alfortville (1987), Bourges (1987), Saumur (1987), Metz (1991), Limoges (1992), Tours (1992).


Among his closest friends were the painters Daniel du Janerand, Gabriel Deschamps, Louis Vuillermoz, Pierre-Henry, André Vignoles, Pierre Gaillardot, Rodolphe Caillaux, Jean-Pierre Alaux, Bernard Buffet, André Hambourg, Emilio Grau Sala, Jean Carzou, Paul Collomb, composer Henri Dutilleux, and the two brothers Ramon and Antoni Pitxot.

Family links: Henri Corblin (Corblin Burton), Albert Besson (Académie de Médecine), Olivier Lazzarotti (université d'Amiens).


Maurice Boitel died on August 11, 2007, in Audresselles, Pas-de-Calais.


The municipality of Paris gave its name to the walk which surrounds the lake Daumesnil in 2014 and the municipality of Audresselles in the path which lines the English Channel in 2008.

Some municipalities gave the name of Maurice Boitel to a street or a monument:

Locations of the paintings

The "Municipal Fund contemporary art" of the city of Paris hold about 30 pictures of Maurice Boitel.

Art connoisseurs from Great Britain, United States, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Iran, Japan, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Mexico, etc., acquired many paintings, as well as the French State and the Town of Paris.

Some of his works may be seen in museums of the following towns: Dijon, St-Maur des fossés, Sceaux, Valence, Algiers, Constantine, Béjaïa in particular and also in the town council hall of Paris and in French embassies around the world.

Ceramics and frescoes (1953 and 1955):

Maurice Boitel painted single-handedly all the frescoes on the classroom walls. In order to make the ceramics himself, he had a kiln built in his own studio. These ceramic panels can still be seen in these schools of Paris close suburbs.


The painter's evolution continued during all his life: up to 1946, the year of his marriage, expressive painting; then from 1946 to 1952, a very coloured painting especially in Algeria. From 1952 to 1965, his landscapes were very constructed, the objects defined by black contours with some flat tints in the knife. During this period, he initially painted close to his home in Paris and Saint-Mandé and also the Cap Gris Nez sober and dark paintings of storms, of boats on the beach, ruins of the war. He also painted characters: clowns, poultry stockbreeders, sailors. Then, from 1958 to 1965, he painted in Cadaqués (Spain) every summer. It is always the same style, firmly framed, but where pass the light and the colors sharp of the Mediterranean (landscapes, navy, portraits, crowd on the beach).

From 1965, his work remained structured but contours disappear. He painted many watercolours, in particular in Nice, in Italy and in Sancerrois. Each year, he visited the Cape Gris-Nez, in Audresselles, or in Ambazac, in the Limousin. The Paris area, where he usually resided, also provided him many subjects (Montmartre, the Bois de Vincennes, islands of the Seine river, the Marne, Guermantes and Conches-sur-Gondoire ). During the eighties, he tended to evoke an idealized reality.


  1. The School of Paris (1945–1965) by Lydia Harambourg. Dictionary of the painters. Collection Ides and Calendes


collection terre des peintres - 3 avenue Percier 75008 Paris - ed. Compagnie Internationale de Banque.

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