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Maximilien Luce



Maximilien Luce (March 13, 1858-1941) was a French painter born into a poor, working-class family. Luce started his training as a wood carver at École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. He then was an apprentice for a wood engraver and even took night classes to strengthen his skills. He improved a lot as an engraver and worked in the studio of a professional, Eugene Froment. His growth as an artist was put on pause when he was drafted into the French military from 1879-1883. Before his hiatus, he had begun transitioning to painting and after his service he had fully moved on from engraving. Luce’s paintings often had a roughly detailed style, with many light colors and soft compositions of landscapes, both urban and natural. Luce was able to meet and speak to Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists such as Camille Pissaro, Georges Seurat, and Paul Signac. He developed a similar style to them, known as Divisionism, which is similar to pointillism. This painting style utilizes short, broken strokes that do not have a clean or finished food but rather a scene that only comes together from a distance. From his artistic upbringing and the artists around them, Luce became one of the leaders of the Neo-Impressionist movement. He joined the Societe des Indépendants in 1887 and became the President in 1935. However, Luce was very passionate about his political and social views and resigned when the Societe refused to exhibit work by Jewish artists. Maximilien Luce continued to paint and exhibit work with the Societe up until his death in 1941.

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