Paul Maze was born in 1887 at Le Havre of French parents; his father was a collector and friend of various artists, including Dufy and Braque. Aged twelve, he was sent to school in England to perfect his English. He worked for ten years in his father’s firm importing India rubber and coffee in Liverpool and Hamburg, then spent a year in Canada, followed by nine months as a sailor.
On his return to Europe he began to devote himself entirely to painting. He served in the British Army in the 1914-18 war, and afterwards wrote about his experiences. He was encouraged in his painting by his friends Segonzac, Boussingault, Derain, Bonnard, and Vuillard. Vuillard in particular encouraged him to work in pastel, the medium that he is now best known for.
Maze married a British wife in 1921 and took British nationality, and henceforth lived mainly in England, except for periodic visits to France and elsewhere. His first solo exhibition was at the Independent Gallery, London, in 1925. He died at his home at Treyford, Sussex, in 1979.