Paul Maze, the Last of the Impressionists by Paul Schofield

On Friday 23rd November 2018 The Wincanton and District Museum and History Society, held a very interesting talk by Phillip Scholfield, entitled “Paul Maze, the Last of the Impressionists”.

Phillip Schofield had first come across this remarkable man whilst a schoolboy – finding Paul Maze’s book in the school library.  This led to a lifelong interest in his paintings, and his life.

A Frenchman, Paul Maze was born in France in 1887.   His parents were wealthy, and artistic, whose circle of friends included Claude Monet and Pissarro.  These artists encouraged Paul to sketch and always carry a sketchpad and pencil.   He very quickly learnt the art, catching a scene quickly and accurately.   At the age of 12 he was sent to boarding school in England and fell in love with all things English.   In fact, he eventually became an English Citizen.

His artwork continued, but he began work in his father’s Company, although he always wanted to be an artist.   After some time he did start travelling and painting but WW1 loomed and he returned home.   As it turned out he joined the British Army and was wounded three times whilst in the thick of war.   Here his artistic talent came in useful, as he sketched the landscape etc., which could be of use of the Army.

After the war he married an English lady and lived in Scotland, Chelsea and Midhurst and eventually back to Paris where they separated.   Paul was involved with one of his models (Scottish) and they married in 1950.   He continued as an artist, but WW2 was on the horizon and he and family returned to England.  By now he was a friend of Churchill and they often painted together.  Now involved in his second War he become Personal Staff Officer to Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris.

A prolific artist, he painted in England, countryside scenes, New York, busy city scenes and French Maritime scenes.  Various Military and ceremonial celebrations were also amongst his paintings, of which there were many.  Henley Regatta, Trooping of the Colour, and yatching at Cowes.  This interesting artist survived two Wars.  Throughout it all he remained an artist at heart, and died in England in 1979.

Many thanks were expressed to Mr. Schofield for his very interesting talk.

Nigel Fox and John Baxter speak to Town Council 12th Feb.

Nigel introduced John to the Town Council who were all given a leaflet summarising Bioletti’s life and they both spoke of how publicising Bioletti and John’s book Surviving Napoleon could make a positive effect on Wincanton the wider his remarkable story is known.  The possibility of getting a Blue Plaque for his home in the High Street was raised and the response of the council who have been given a copy of the book to circulate amongst them, seemed very positive and the Town Clerk, Ms Sam Atherton also spoke of the stream of Bioletti descendants who have already been visiting Wincanton to see where he lived and to get a copy of the book.  Both John and Nigel felt the meeting had gone very well.

JJB