Paul Mathey (French painter, draughtsman and engraver) 1844-1929
Paul Victor Mathey was a French painter and engraver. Born in Paris, the son of a restorer, Mathey learned his art at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts of Paris in painters Léon Cogniet's, Isidore Pils's and Alexis-Joseph Mazerolle's workshops. He began to exhibit at the Salon de Paris in 1868, and became a valued and recognized portrait painter. He has several times portrayed artists from his entourage in their studios. Especially a portrait painter, Mathey did not, however, refrain from landscape, seascapes, lived scenes or decoration. In his forty-fifth year, at the time of the struggle between reproducers and originals, he had the idea of starting engraving. The Comité des Artistes français, of which he was no longer a member, contested the title of engravers to those who did not work on the work of others. They wanted to exclude them from the Salon, and at least from the rewards. Mathey opened Maxime Lalanne's Traité de gravure à l'eau-forte, took the technical information he needed, fetched a sketch from his notebooks and engraved it. It was a portrait of his father, whom he had drawn about ten years earlier. His work has been crowned several times. He was presented with a 3rd class medal at the 1876 Salon, a 2nd class medal at the 1885 Salon, and a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle (1889). Finally, he was decorated with the Legion of Honour, 29 October 1889. Mathey died in the 7th arrondissement of Paris at age 85.