Paul Peel (1860 – 1892) was a Canadian academic painter who is best known for his light-hearted paintings of children. Peel was one of the first Canadian artists to receive international recognition in his lifetime. But like Bouguereau, his work was neglected in the 20th century due to modern critics’ scorn of his sentimental subjects. However, like many 19th century academic artists, his work has gained attention in recent years.
Several of Peel’s works remained in the possession of his family. Peel gave his self-portrait to his brother Frederick on a trip back to Canada. Frederick named his son Paul in his brother’s memory, and the name has been passed down the generations. In the Spring of this year, Paul Peel III placed a self-portait of his grand-uncle up for auction. The family decided to sell the painting with a pre-auction estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. But the sale exceeded their expectations and sold for $79,250.