A Weekend with Maximilien Luce’s ‘muscular’ paintings 1

Luce is probably much less well known than Signac but theree is a sort of classical elegance which is affecting.

The Eclectic Light Company

This weekend I’m celebrating the life and art of one France’s least-known and most prolific Neo-Impressionists, Maximilien-Jules-Constant Luce (1858-1941). His paintings are in galleries and museums around the world: the Musée d’Orsay holds quite a few of his very best, but seldom do they appear in special exhibitions, or in prominent places. In his long lifetime, he painted more than 2,000 works in oils, rather more than Cézanne, and was an accomplished Impressionist, Neo-Impressionist, and Post-Impressionist. But memory of him has faded badly.

He was born to a working class family in Paris, and started his apprenticeship to a wood engraver in 1872, just after the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1). This fired his enthusiasm for art, and he attended evening school, first in drawing, then starting to paint in oils. In 1876 he moved to work for Eugène Froment, who made woodcut prints for a wider range of clients. He pursued…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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