Paul Louis Denis Bellot is born in
Paris on 7 June 1876 in a family of architects.
studies architecture and in 1900 he graduates at the Paris Ecole des Beaux
Arts. His graduation-work "Maison
de famille et cercle Français
à Madrid" is exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1901. Bellot takes a trip to
Spain, to study there. He is subscribed as an architect on 28 July 1901 at "Société des architectes
diplômés par le gouvernement".
His first work as an architect was the design for the new church of Saint
Germain in Flers, France, together with Paul Hulot.
Although the plans were well received, the church was built according to plans
of an other architect. In 1902 Paul Bellot decides to
be a monk and gives up his daily architectural work. He enters the community of
the Benedictines of Solesmes, at that time in exile in England.
the anti-clerical laws of Emile Combes the monks fled to other countries around
France. The community of Solesmes went to the British Isle of Wight in 1901.
Paul Bellot became monk there and was asked by his community to draw plans for
the new abbey. Building Quarr abbey started in 1906. At the same time Bellot
made an abbey for the Benedictine monks in Oosterhout, Holland. Bellot builds
these abbeys in brick. Paul Bellot becomes priest on 10 June 1911 in Quarr
Abbey, in the church which was designed by himself....
building-monk becomes more and more attention, and he is given permission to
start his own architecture-office in St. Pauls abbey in Oosterhout, Holland. In
1922 he hires a young Dutch architect to help him with his work, Hendrik van de
Leur, and together they build several churches and
schools in Holland. This Van de Leur would be his
associate (companion) in 1928. Bellot’s early work is written down in a book,
translated in French, Dutch and English "A modern architecturial
work by Dom Paul Bellot O.S.B." (1927) with introduction from sculpturist Henri Charlier and text from the architect
Maurice Storez and Bellot himself. It's ment to be an explanation of the architectural ideas of
In 1920 the
anti-clerical laws are abolished in France and the Benedictine monks can return
to France. The monks of Quarr Abbey leave to Solesmes, leaving a new community
of English and French monks at Quarr, and the same happens in Oosterhout, were
the French monks return to their "own" St. Paul abbey at Wisques. Dom Bellot leaves Oosterhout in 1928, and starts a
new architecture-office in the abbey at Wisques.
Hendrik van de Leur stays in Holland and continues
working there in Bellot’s style. Dom Bellot becomes a member of L'Arche, a group of architects and artists who's goal it is to make a new kind of religious art: L'Arche rejects copying of old styles (such as neo-gothic
and neo-Romanesque styles). The Belgian architect Maurice Storez
was the leading architect.
In 1932 Dom
Bellot received a medal from the Société Centrale des Architectes
Français for his work. He is introduced to the
young Canadian architect Dufresne by Maurice Storez. An other Canadian architect, Edgar Courchesne, became an
internship at Bellot’s office. Father Henri-Paul Bergeron of the Oratory Saint
Joseph at Montreal, a personal friend of Courchesne and Dufresne, invites
Bellot to Canada for several lectures about modern religious art (1934). These lectures where published in 1949 (Propos d'un
bâtisseur du Bon Dieu). In Canada Bellot is asked to complete the Oratorium
St. Joseph and to build a new abbey for the Benedictine community at St.
Benoît-du-Lac. Trapped by the second world war Dom Bellot is forced to stay in
Canada from September 1939 until his death on 5 July 1944. He is buried on the
cemetery of the abbey St. Benoît-du-Lac. Dufresne and a few other architects
continued working in the style of Bellot and today this style is known in
Canada as "Belotism".
Most of his
archive is preserved and can be found at the A.N.M.T. in Roubaix, France