(21 May 1887 – 17 September 1979)

Paul Lucien Maze 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. 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. 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. After school, Maze worked for his father’s importing firm in Hamburg and Liverpool for ten years before moving to Canada for a year. 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. 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 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.

Paul Lucien Maze - Bebb Fine Art - Signed Prints and Originals