Paul Maze

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Paul Maze
Paul Lucien Maze

(1887-05-21)21 May 1887
Le Havre, France
Died17 September 1979(1979-09-17) (aged 92) [1]
West Sussex, England
Known forPainting, drawing
Notable work
Whitehall in Winter (1920), Funeral of George VI (1952)
Movement impressionism

Paul Lucien Maze (21 May 1887 – 17 September 1979) was an Anglo-French painter. He is often known as “The last of the Post Impressionists" and was one of the great artists of his generation. His mediums included oils, watercolours and pastels and his paintings include French maritime scenes, busy New York City scenes and the English countryside. He is especially noted for his quintessentially English themes: regattas, sporting events and ceremonial celebrations, such as racing at Goodwood, Henley Regatta, Trooping the Colour and yachting at Cowes.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and in the U.S. state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Goodwood House country house in England, seat of the Duke of Richmond

Goodwood House is a country house and estate covering 4,900 hectares in Westhampnett, Chichester, West Sussex, England and is the seat of the Duke of Richmond. The house was built in about 1600 and is a Grade I listed building.

Trooping the Colour military ceremony in the British Army and other Commonwealth militaries

Trooping the Colour is a ceremony performed by regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies. It has been a tradition of British infantry regiments since the 17th century, although its roots go back much earlier. On the battlefield, a regiment's colours, or flags, were used as rallying points. Consequently, regiments would have their ensigns slowly march with their colours between the ranks to enable soldiers to recognise their regiments' colours.


During the First World War, Maze met Winston Churchill in the trenches and their shared love of painting led to a lifelong friendship. Maze became Churchill's artistic mentor, encouraging him to develop his drawing and painting techniques. [2]

Winston Churchill Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a British politician, army officer, and writer. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, when he led Britain to victory in the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. Churchill represented five constituencies during his career as a Member of Parliament (MP). Ideologically an economic liberal and imperialist, for most of his career he was a member of the Conservative Party, which he led from 1940 to 1955, but from 1904 to 1924 was instead a member of the Liberal Party.


Paul Lucien Maze was born into a French family at Le Havre, Normandy, in 1887. [3] His father was a thriving tea merchant and art collector and his circle of artistic friends included Claude Monet, Raoul Dufy, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Maze learnt the fundamentals of painting from Pissarro and as a young boy he sketched on the beach with Dufy. At the age of 12, Maze was sent to school in Southampton, England, to perfect his English and whilst there, he fell in love with all things English. He became a naturalised British subject in 1920.

Le Havre Subprefecture and commune in Normandy, France

Le Havre, is an urban French commune and city in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region of northwestern France. It is situated on the right bank of the estuary of the river Seine on the Channel southwest of the Pays de Caux.

Normandy Administrative region of France

Normandy is one of the 18 regions of France, roughly referring to the historical Duchy of Normandy.

Claude Monet French painter

Oscar-Claude Monet was a French painter, a founder of French Impressionist painting and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein air landscape painting. The term "Impressionism" is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant, which was exhibited in 1874 in the first of the independent exhibitions mounted by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon de Paris.

After school, Maze worked for his father's importing firm in Hamburg and Liverpool for ten years before moving to Canada for a year. [4] He then had a brief stint as a sailor. At the outbreak of World War I, Maze returned to France and attempted to join the French army but was deemed unfit. Determined to serve, Maze made his way to Le Havre and offered his services to the British and became an interpreter with the British cavalry regiment, the Royal Scots Greys. During the retreat from Mons, Maze became separated from the Royal Scots and narrowly avoided being captured by the Germans but was taken prisoner by a British unit. Maze's position with the Royal Scots Greys was unofficial and his lack of documentation and his odd uniform led the British to think he was a spy. Maze was summarily sentenced to death. On his way to face the firing squad, Maze was recognised by an officer from the Royal Scots Greys who happened to be passing and who quickly secured his release. [5] Maze joined the staff of General Hubert Gough, initially as a liaison officer and interpreter but increasing as a military draughtsman undertaking reconnaissance work. Maze would go to advanced positions, often forward of the British trenches, to produce accurate drawings of enemy positions and other military objectives. The work was very dangerous and Maze was wounded three times in four years. [5] He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Medal by the British, and the Croix de Guerre and Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur by the French. His book, A Frenchman in Khaki (1934), detailed his experiences of the action that he saw on the Western Front. Churchill wrote the foreword to his book.

Hamburg City in Germany

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million.

Liverpool City and Metropolitan borough in England

Liverpool is a city in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500 within the Liverpool City Council local authority in 2017. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

After the end of World War I, Maze immersed himself in the Parisian art scene. Some of his friends included André Derain, André Dunoyer de Segonzac, Pierre Bonnard and in particular Édouard Vuillard. Vuillard had the most impact on Maze and encouraged his use of the medium of pastels which he felt best suited the style, personality and freshness in his work. Although Maze still used oils and watercolours, pastels became his preferred choice and it was his talent as a pastellist which brought him global recognition.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

André Derain French painter and engraver

André Derain was a French artist, painter, sculptor and co-founder of Fauvism with Henri Matisse.

André Dunoyer de Segonzac painter, graphic artist

André Dunoyer de Segonzac was a French painter and graphic artist.

In 1921, Maze married Margaret Nelson, a widow of a wartime friend, Captain Thomas Nelson. They moved to London during which time Maze painted many London scenes from pomp and pageantry to the fogs and dismal back streets. He exhibited in many major art galleries in London, America and Paris. In 1939, Maze had his first New York City exhibition and in the foreword to the catalogue, Winston Churchill wrote, "His great knowledge of painting and draughtsmanship have enabled him to perfect his remarkable gift. With the fewest of strokes, he can create an impression at once true and beautiful. Here is no toiling seeker after preconceived effects, but a vivid and powerful interpreter to us of the forces and harmony of Nature". [6]

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

During World War II, Maze served with the British Home Guard and then as a personal Staff Officer to Sir Arthur Travers Harris. Maze competed in the art competitions at the 1948 Summer Olympics, but did not win a medal. [7] In 1949, Maze and his first wife divorced and in 1950, he married Jessie Lawrie, a Scottish woman who became the subject of many of his paintings. [8] They settled in Treyford, West Sussex, and he depicted their domestic life in many of his works. Maze stated that "Painters are born, not made" and "the greatest teacher is nature" and so it was in rural West Sussex that he concentrated on painting pastoral landscapes and scenes.

In 1952 Maze held his first one-man exhibition at the Wildenstein Gallery in New York and that same year, [ citation needed ] he went on to record the funeral of HM King George VI.[ citation needed ] He was selected as the Official Painter of Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation the following year.[ citation needed ]

Maze died aged 92 with a pastel in his hand, overlooking his beloved South Downs at his home in West Sussex in 1979.

His works are in many major galleries including The Tate, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, and in private collections worldwide, including that of HM The Late Queen Mother. [9] In a 1989 speech by Churchill's daughter, Lady Soames, she said, "The famous French artist Paul Maze was a painting companion. The 'Cher Maître', as we all came to call this charming man, remained a regular visitor to Chartwell for many years". [6]

Books about Maze

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  1. Glueck, Grace (1979-09-21). "Paul Maze, a Painter for 70 Years; Served With Distinction". The New York Times . pp. D15. Retrieved 2013-03-17.
  2. Huffington Post. 19 Jan 2012. "New Exhibition Of Winston Churchill Paintings Reveals Relationship With Famous Moroccan Artist". London.
  3. Soames, Mary Winston and Clementine: The Personal Letters of the Churchills, Maze biography
  4. Upstone, Robert. "Paul Maze". Tate Gallery. January 2002
  5. 1 2 Paul Gough (2010). A Terrible Beauty: British Artists in the First World War. Sansom and Company. ISBN   978-1-906593-00-1.
  6. 1 2 Albany Fine Art. "Paul Maze". Stephanie Connell. 21 Sep 2012
  7. Gjerde, Arild; Jeroen Heijmans; Bill Mallon; Hilary Evans (March 2013). "Paul Maze Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics. Sports Retrieved 2013-03-17.
  8. Soames, Mary. Winston and Clementine: The Personal Letters of the Churchills. First Mariner Books, 2001, p.657.
  9. Government Art Collection. "Paul Maze". Sep 2012.