The National Gallery of Canada writes of Paul Peel:


“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.”

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