Paul Vanier Beaulieu was born in Montréal in 1910. He started learning about art at the early age of ten browsing through illustrated art books found in his father’s studio-library. He would borrow his father’s paint and brushes creating his own versions of his comic book heroes. At the age of fifteen his family went to live in Sainte-Thérèse, a northern suburb of Montréal. Encouraged by his father, he began to explore the outdoors and paint landscapes en plein air. In 1927, at the age of 17, after studying every other subject with little interest, Paul enrolled in the École des Beaux-Arts in Montréal. He studied there for just over two years.
In 1930 with Gonsalve Désaulniers, he opened his own commercial art studio in a building on Phillips Square, where the Art Association of Montreal (which later became the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) had once had its Art Gallery. Their studio lasted six years taking on commercial clients as well as providing workshops. Once the studio closed its doors Beaulieu pursued his dream of painting in Paris, he waited tables until he had enough to travel to Paris.
In 1938 he arrived Paris, France, joinging his brother Claude, who had been studying there for three years already. While in Paris he became inspired by the works of Vlaminck, Rouault, and Picasso. Two years later, in 1940, Paul and his brother are arrested and taken prisoner by the Germans during the impeding war. By 1944 Beaulieu was released, he continued to pursue a career in the arts and make up for lost time.
After a visit to Montréal, he returned to Paris in 1947, during this time his career flourished. Beaulieu was constantly researching and experimenting with diffrent genres and mediums. He explored oils, watercolours, etchings, and lithography. His most popular works are still lifes, landscapes, and figures in semi-abstract and modernistic styles.
Although living in Paris, much of Beaulieu's exhibits and popularity occured back home in Montréal. He became a member of The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. By the late 1970's and 1980's Beaulieu was being exhibited across North America.