Maximilien Luce

(1858 - 1941)

Maximilien Luce was born in Montparnasse, Paris on 13th March 1858. Luce worked initially in the school of design attached to the Gobelin Tapestry Studios and studied engraving in 1876 with Eugene Fromentin (1844-1900), in 1877 accompanying Fromentin to London. In 1879 Luce returned to Paris and worked as a pupil in the studio of Carolus Duran (1837-1917), and studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, and at the Academie Suisse.

In the 1880’s, Luce developed a close friendship with Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) and with Georges-Pierre Seurat (1859-1891) and Paul Signac (1863-1935) with whom he was a principal founder of Neo-Impressionism, a movement based on Seurat’s pointillism.

Luce was a painter of street scenes and life in Montparnasse and Paris, being particularly interested in working life in the docks and factories.

In 1894 Luce’s involvement with anarchist elements led to a brief period of imprisonment. Luce continued to live in Montparnasse until 1904 before moving to Auteuil (1904-24) and subsequently returning to Paris.

In 1934 he was elected President of the Societé des Artistes Indépendants following Signac, but soon resigned in protest over the treatment of Jewish applicants. Luce remained in Paris and died 6th February 1941.

Maximilien Luce was a significant figure in 20th century French painting, a founder of Neo-Impressionism, a painter of city life and landscapes in Normandy and Brittany, distinguished by a vivid palette. He was an artist who was widely collected in Europe and in the U.S.A. and whose appeal has grown to be worldwide.

His works can be found in museums in: Glasgow; Charleroi; Paris; St. Tropez; Geneva; Cleveland; Indianapolis; New York; San Diego; St. Louis; Springville and Toledo.