Maxime Maufra was born in Nantes in 1861. Encouraged by two local artists, he began to paint at the age of eighteen, but was later sent to Liverpool to train for a commercial career.
He returned to France in 1884 to work in commerce, but continued to paint in his spare time. The discovery of the Impressionists, in particular Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley, proved to be a great inspiration, and Maufra was able to exhibit three paintings at the Paris Salon of 1886 to critical acclaim. By 1890 he had decided to devote himself entirely to painting.
Maufra travelled to Brittany where he met Paul Gaugin, Paul Sérusier and other artists of the Pont-Aven School, and although he subsequently moved to Montmartre in Paris in 1892, he continued to paint annually in Brittany, especially around Quiberon and Morgat. Maufra had his first one man exhibition in Paris at Le Barc de Bouteville in 1894, following which the renowned Parisian art dealer Durand-Ruel supported his career for the rest of his life.
Although he painted mainly in Brittany, Maufra also worked at various points on the Normandy coast, in and around Paris, and occasionally in Touraine and the South of France. Further afield, he also visited the Highlands of Scotland in 1895-1896, and Algeria in 1913.
Despite the strong influence of the Impressionists, Pointillists and Pont-Aven School on his work, Maufra remained an independent and intuitive painter, recording the elusive qualities of nature with imaginative use of colour, bold brushwork, and a powerful technique.
Maufra’s paintings can be found in museums around the world, including the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Tate Gallery, London, Museum of Fine Art, Boston, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid