Maximilien Luce Biography | Oil Paintings

3-13-1858 Paris, FRA – 2-6-1941 Paris, FRA

Luce, Maximilien

In 1872, fourteen-year-old Maximilien Luce became an apprentice with the wood-engraver Henri-Théophile Hildebrand and 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. Luce began working in the studio of Eugène Froment and 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.

Luce shifted his focus to painting full-time in 1883 because the prevalence of the new zincography printing process rendered xylography nearly obsolete as a profession.

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 Montmartre 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.

In the spring of 1892, Luce made a trip with Camille Pissarro to London and later that year, he visited Saint-Tropez with Signac, and in the summer of 1893, he went to Brittany.

In 1894, the President of France Marie François Sadi Carnot was assassinated, and Maximilien Luce, suspected of involvement was arrested and was confined to Mazas Prison for forty-two days but later after the trial Procès des Trente, he was acquitted.

Except for a five year period between 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 Paul 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 early part of the twentieth century, his identification with the Post-Impressionists began to disappear, as he became less active politically, and his artistic style shifted, and he resumed painting in an Impressionist style.

In spite of the fact that he had many one man exhibitions of his work in France, the first one in the United States did not occur until over fifty-five years after his death in 1997. Notre Dame de Paris, painted in 1900, sold at auction in 2011 for US$4.2 million, setting a record for a Maximilien Luce work.

Art Movement: Post-Impressionism.
Artists Influencing Maximilien Luce: Georges Seurat, Diogène Maillard, Jules-Ernest, Carolus-Duran.
He Traveled To England, Belgium.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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