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Scènes de la vie courante. Two oil studies on cardboard. Each approx. 13.4 x 54 cm. Signed “Luce” at the bottom left.
The late Impressionist painter, Maximilien Luce, initially trained as a printmaker and began his painting studies in 1876 under Eugène Froment and at the Académie Suisse in Paris. Together with his fellow students, Léo Gausson and Emile-Gustave Cavallo-Peduzzi, Luce founded a group of artists called the Groupe de Lagny, which critically examined George Seurat’s theory of colour. On the occasion of his debut at the Salon des Indépendants Luce made the acquaintance of Camille Pissarro and Paul Signac. The latter bought one of Luce’s paintings and remained on friendly terms with him for the rest of his life. In 1889 and 1892 Luce was invited by Emile Verhaeren and Theo van Rysselberghe to participate in the annual exhibition of Les Vingt, a progressive artists’ association in Brussels. This put him among the artistic avant-garde of his time, the closeness between his work and Seurat’s pointillist and divisionist style of painting making him one of the leading Neo-Impressionists.
Luce reveals a clear preference in his extensive painted oeuvre for the depiction of landscapes as well as urban and street scenes. Later on he also produced a large number of portraits. The hustle and bustle of city life fascinated the artist time and again and inspired him to create works which express his idiosyncratic view of restless human activity. In the present oil studies, which were designed as companion pieces, Luce again turns his attention to such everyday scenes. By choosing a visually pleasing oblong format, the artist uses thickly applied bright colours to portray a busy market in the first scene – it could well be the Rue Mouffetard in Paris – while in the second scene he focuses on the pulsating street activity. With a keen eye for picturesque detail and human interaction Luce presents an unusually poetic and charmingly colourful portrait of the vitality of urban life.Contact us for further information