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French painter, he belonged to the art movement called "La Jeune Peinture" "Young Picture" of the School of Paris.
Maurice Boitel was born in Tillières-sur-Avre, Eure département, in Normandy, from a Picard lawyer father, a member of the Saint Francis third order, and from a Parisian mother, of Burgundian ancestry. Until the age of twelve Maurice Boitel lived in Burgundy at Gevrey-Chambertin. In this beautiful province his art reflected his major love of nature, and also the feeling of joie de vivre expressed in his works. He began drawing at the age of five.
Maurice Boitel studied at the Fine Arts schools of Boulogne-sur-Mer and of Amiens, cities where his parents lived for a few years. Then his family came back to Burgundy, to Nuits-Saint-Georges. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy of Dijon before fighting in a mountain light infantry platoon at the beginning of World War II.
He successfully sat the competitive examination to enter the National Academy of Fine Arts École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Paris). In 1942 and 1943, during the most difficult period of the German occupation, in his studio located in the center of Paris he hid Jewish refugees, among them the journalist Henry Jelinek.
The painter's evolution continues imperceptibly during all his life: up to 1946, year of his marriage, an expressive painting, very land, then of 1946 to 1952, a very coloured painting especially in Algeria. From 1952 to 1965, it carries out very personal paintings: in its landscapes, very constructed, the objects are defined by black contours with some flat tints in the knife. During this period, he initially will paint close to his home in Paris and Saint-Mandé and also the Cap Gris Nez sober and dark paintings of storms, of boats on the beach, ruins of the war. He also paints characters: clowns, poultry stockbreeders, sailors and portraits. Then, from 1958 to 1965, he paints in Cadaqués (Spain) every summer. It is always the same style, firmly framed, but where pass the light and the colors sharp of the Mediterranean (landscapes, navy, portraits, crowd on the beach).
From 1965 , his work remains structured but he makes contours disappear: he also more uses the watercolour in particular in Nice, in Italy and in Sancerrois. Each year, he goes close to the Cape Gris-Nez, in Audresselles, or in Ambazac, in the Limousin . The Paris area, where he usually resides, also provided him many subjects (Montmartre, the Wood of Vincennes, islands of the Seine, the Marne, Guermantes and Conches-sur-Gondoire ). During the eighties, he tends to evoke an idealized reality.
A great number of his paintings from between 1942 and 1946 were bought by a British collector and are still in London.
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