Paul Maze was born in Le Havre France in 1887 and was later educated in England. As a child, Maze saw Camille Pissarro working and used to sit and paint beside Raoul Dufy on the beach at his native Le Havre. Maze served in World War I with the Royal Scots Greys where he met Winston Churchill in the trenches. Maze’s experience of war was unique, having first served in the French Army and later in the British. In sketching soldiers, he learned to create complex scenes with only a few bold lines. Winston Churchill, in his foreword for the catalogue of Maze’s first New York show 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.”
After the war he was part of the Parisian art scene and his friends included Andre Derain, Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac, and in particular, Edouard Vuillard who convinced him that he would leave his mark on the art world by using pastels. The sea was a theme that fascinated Maze for most of his life.
At the time of Maze’s exhibition in Paris during 1945, his friend wrote: “Paul Maze is above all an intuitive artist; he is the antithesis of the contemporary school of painting which wishes to ignore nature and to practise an art of the laboratory. Paul Maze’s Norman origin, his childhood spent in the region of the estuary of the Seine, classifies him with the painters of Honfleur, Rouen, Havre. Jongkind, Boudin, Claude Monet are his visual ancestors; and, like them, with his ‘gris colore’ he is the poet of the sky and water.
Maze made his home in England after World War I, but he never lost contact with his native France. He died in 1979. Paul Maze’s works are in many major galleries including the Tate Britain, The Fitzwilliam Museum, the Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, and in private collections worldwide, including that of the late Queen Mother.