1860 - 1892
"For the first time in the history of the French Salon the gold medal for especial excellence has been awarded to a native of the American continent. The proud possessor of this great honour? is a Canadian, a native of London!..." - "Paul Peel at the Top", London Advertiser, 4 June 1890
Paul Peel is known for his technical virtuosity, especially in his portrayals of the human body, and for his often sentimental domestic scenes. Peel died just when his talent was about to reach its full maturity.
From 1877 to 1880, Paul Peel studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he took courses in modelling, anatomy, and nature drawing with the artist Thomas Eakins. He then left for France to work at the art colonies of Pont-Aven and Concarneau in Brittany. He was also accepted as a student in the studio of Jean Léon Gérôme at the École des beaux-arts de Paris, where he refined his art and techniques. He spent his summers in Denmark with the family of his wife, the painter Isaure Fanchette Verdier, whom he had met at Pont-Aven and married in 1886.
Peel painted many grand genre scenes in an academic style. He also painted landscapes using an Impressionist technique, and his works were exhibited regularly at the Salon de Paris. In 1889, A Venetian Bather won an honourable mention. One year later, he received a third-class medal. In Canada, his works were exhibited at the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in Ottawa and at the Art Association of Montreal. The fact that he was elected a full member of the Academy in 1890 attested to his growing reputation in Canada. Paul Peel died of influenza in Paris two years later, leaving behind a large number of works.
Paul Peel, Attributed to
Portrait of Paul Peel, 1883
Born in London, Ontario, 07 November 1860
Died in Paris, France, 11 October 1892
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