Maximilien Luce (13 March 1858 – 6 February 1941) was a prolific French Neo-impressionist artist, known for his paintings, illustrations, engravings, and graphic art, and also for his anarchist activism. Starting as an engraver, he then concentrated on painting, first as an Impressionist, then as a Pointillist, and finally returning to Impressionism.
In 1872, the fourteen-year-old Luce became an apprentice for a wood-engraver. During his three-year xylography apprenticeship, he also took night classes in drawing. During this period, Luce started painting in oils. His art education continued as he attended drawing classes at the Gobelins tapestry factory.
Luce began work producing woodcut prints for various publications. He took additional art courses, at l’Académie Suisse, and also in the studio of portrait painter Carolus-Duran (1837–1917).
Luce spent four years in the military, starting in 1879, serving in Brittany at Guingamp. The next year, he received a promotion to corporal, and he became friends with Alexandre Millerand, who, in 1920, assumed the office of President of France.
Gausson and Cavallo-Péduzzi introduced Luce in about 1884 to the Divisionist technique developed by Georges Seurat. This influenced Luce to begin painting in the Pointillist style. In contrast to Seurat’s detached manner, Luce’s paintings were passionate portrayals of contemporary subjects, depicting the “violent effects of light”.
Luce exhibited in every show at Les Indépendants from 1887 until he died in 1941.
Luce depicted a diverse range of subjects in his works over a long career. He most frequently created landscapes, but his other works include portraits, still lifes, domestic scenes, such as bathers, and images of welders, rolling mill operators, and other laborers. More on Maximilien Luce
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