Lovely original floral still life pastel by Paul Lucien Maze (1887-1979) signed (LR).
Image Sz: 10.5"H x 13.5"W
Frame: 17.75"H x 20.75"W
Artist Bio: Paul Lucien Maze (1887 – 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.
Paul was born into a French family at Le Havre, Normandy, in 1887. 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.
During the First World War, Paul served as draftsman 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. 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.
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.
Maze’s 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.
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.
Maze became a naturalized British subject in 1920. In 1921, Maze 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".
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, he went on to record the funeral of HM King George VI. He was selected as the Official Painter of Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation the following year.
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. 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 (Churchill’s country home) for many years".