Maximilien Luce France
3-13-1858 Paris, FRA – 2-6-1941 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
In 1872, the 14-year-old Maximilien Luce became an apprentice with wood-engraver Henri-Théophile Hildebrand. During his three-year xylography apprenticeship, he also took night classes in drawing from instructors Truffet and Jules-Ernest Paris. During this period, Luce started painting in oils. His art education continued as he attended drawing classes taught by Diogène Maillard at the Gobelins tapestry factory.
He took additional art courses, at l'Académie Suisse, and also in the studio of portrait painter Carolus-Duran. Through Froment's studio, Luce became friends with Léo Gausson and Émile-Gustave Cavallo-Péduzzi. These three artists spent time around Lagny-sur-Marne creating Impressionist landscapes.
The prevalence of the new zincography printing process rendered xylography nearly obsolete as a profession, Luce shifted his focus to painting full-time in about 1883.
Gausson and Cavallo-Péduzzi introduced Luce in about 1884 to the Divisionist technique developed by Georges Seurat. This influenced Maximilien Luce to begin painting in the Pointillist style. He moved to Montmarte in 1887. Luce joined the Société des Artistes Indépendants and participated in their third spring exhibition, where Paul Signac purchased one of his pieces, La Toilette.
With the exception of the years 1915 to 1919, Maximilien Luce exhibited in every show at Les Indépendants from 1887 until he died in 1941, including a thirty-year retrospective held in 1926. In 1909, he was elected Vice President of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, and was elected President in 1935, following the death of Signac. However, in 1940 he resigned from the position as a protest against the Vichy regime's laws which would have prohibited Jewish artists from participating in the group.
In the spring of 1892 Luce traveled with Pissarro to London. Later that year, he visited Saint-Tropez with Signac, and in the summer of 1893, he went to Brittany.
On 8 July 1894, Maximilien Luce , suspected of involvement in the 24 June assassination of President of France Marie François Sadi Carnot, was arrested and was confined to Mazas Prison. He was released forty two days later, on 17 August, following his acquittal at the Procès des trente.
Starting near the early part of the twentieth century, his identification with the Neo-impressionists began to disappear, as he became less active politically, and his artistic style shifted from Neo-impressionism, and he resumed painting in an Impressionist manner.
Although he had had many solo exhibitions of his work in France, the first one in the United States did not occur until a 1997. Notre Dame de Paris, painted in 1900, sold at auction in May 2011 for US$4.2 million, setting a record for a Maximilien Luce work.
Art Movement: Post-Impressionism
Influences: Georges Seurat, Diogène Maillard, Jules-Ernest, Carolus-Duran
Traveled: England, Belgium