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Chapelet was born in Versailles and studied art in Paris. He was the official painter for the French Navy from 1936 until his death in 1995. He sailed in every sea in the world including the coastal waters of Greenland and Newfoundland. He recorded the Second World War, the Borth Sea and North Atlantic Convoys, the French-Algerian War and the Indo-China War and from all of these he has brought back a record that will ultimately prove to be of great historical value. His knowledge of ships is unequalled and his colouring is exact.

In 1960, Chapelet was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour. He has also been awarded the positions of Chancellor of the Cap Hornier, Chevalier des Palmes Academique and Officer of the order of Maritime Merit.

His work can be found in museums all over France as well as in America. In 1974 he became President of the Marine Academy in France. He has also won the Grand Prix for his designs for stamps. He died in 1995.

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