About the artist:
Walloon painter, pastel artist and printmaker Pierre Paulus (later knighted Baron Pierre Paulus De Chatelet) was born on March 16, 1881 in Châtelet, Hainaut, Belgium. After initially studying architecture Paulus studied at the Academy of Brussels (1898 to 1903), under, among others, Belgian artist Constant Montald, and then privately with sculptors Charles Van der Stappen and an admirer of Constantin Meunier. During this period he became friendly with Rik Wouters, Auguste Oleffe and James Ensor. A traveling grant afforded him the opportunity to study Old Masters in Italy. After returning home, his focus leaned toward social realism, and much of his work was based on the mining towns of his homeland. In 1911 he participated in his first exhibition at the Walloon Art Exposition of Charleroi. In 1913 he was commissioned by the Walloon Assembly to design the Walloonian flag. The design, a red rooster with a raised leg, on a yellow background, is called the "Walloon cock". He spent time in London in 1914 with British artist Frank Brangwyn. In 1916, he was drafted into World War I by the Belgian Army, and served as a documentation artist on the front-lines. Paulus would eventually exhibit throughout Europe as well as in the United States. He was a member of the Beligian artist's circle Group Nervia, of the original Belgian engraving committee, active between 1924 and 1939. Others in the group included Maurice Langenskens, Kurt Peiser and Armand Rassenfosse. He was invited to membership of the Royal Academy of Belgium in 1946 and was knighted by King Baudouin in 1951 and added "De Chatelet" to his family surname. Baron Pierre Paulus de Chatelet died in Saint-Gilles, Belgium on April 17, 1959.