Paul Maze

Le Havre – The Artists – Maze, Paul

This page forms part of a series of pages dedicated to the many artists who worked in Le Havre. A full list of all the artists with a link to their works can be found at the bottom of this page.

Paul Maze
Paul Maze

Movement(s): Impressionism, Post Impressionism

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. His mediums included oils, watercolours and pastels and his paintings include French maritime scenes, busy New York City scenes and the English countryside.

Paul Lucien Maze 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. He became a naturalised British subject in 1920.

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.

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. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Medal by the British, and the Croix de Guerre and Ordre national de la Legion d’honneur by the French.

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”.

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

Click here to read Maze’s full bio on Wikipedia.

NOTE: Click on any image below for a bigger version (no new window will open).

1910 - Paul Maze - Church, Le Havre
1910 – Paul Maze – Church, Le Havre
1930 - Paul Maze - Le Havre distant view of the Seine
1930 – Paul Maze – Le Havre distant view of the Seine
1930 - Paul Maze - Port of Le Havre
1930 – Paul Maze – Port of Le Havre
???? - Paul Maze - Le Havre
???? – Paul Maze – Le Havre

Paul Maze painted all over France (and abroad). Here are the places he painted in France (a link “⇠” will appear when the place he painted in is published):

  • Brittany
    • Quimperle
  • Centre-Val de Loire
    • Dreux
  • Hauts-de-France
    • Boulogne
    • Dunkerque
  • Normandy
  • Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur
    • Antibes
    • Nice
    • Saint-tropez
    • Villefranche-sur-Mer

Here are the painters/artists who painted in Le Havre (a “*” indicates that the artist did not worked directly in Le Havre itself, instead worked closeby, a link “” to the artist’s works will appear below when published):

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