Paul Peel

Paul Peel

1860 - 1892
OSA RCA

Paul Peel was born in London, Ontario in 1860, and began to study under William Lees Judson in 1875. In 1877, Peel furthered his artistic studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia under the instruction of Christian Schussele and Thomas Eakins. However, Peel sought to join the dynamic art community in Paris, and after a brief visit to the Royal Academy in London, England in the winter of 1880 - 1881, Peel fulfilled his ambition and moved to France. Over the next several years he worked with Jean-Léon Gérôme, Henri Doucet, Jules Lefebvre and Benjamin Constant. His work strongly reflected French influences and characteristically depicted images of rural peasantry, children and nude figures, finished with superb fluency and technical skill. In 1883, Peel had a painting accepted into the Paris Salon, a major accomplishment for any artist, especially for a twenty-two year old Canadian. Peel made a brief trip back to London, Ontario at the end of 1883, showing at the Toronto Industrial Exhibition and the Western Fair. His greatest success, however, would come from abroad at the 1890 Paris Salon, where he exhibited two works. One of the works, After the Bath, proved to be a major success, garnering positive reviews from French critics and a third-class medal. Unfortunately Peel’s blossoming career was cut short, as he died of illness in Paris in 1892 at the age of thirty-two.