Maximilien Luce (French, 1858-1941) Paris, ouvriers et travailleurs sur les quais de la Seine

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Lot 12
Maximilien Luce (French, 1858-1941) Paris, ouvriers et travailleurs sur les quais de la Seine

Sold for £ 10,575 (US$ 13,125) inc. premium
Maximilien Luce (French, 1858-1941)
signed Luce lr, oil on board
60 x 73 cm. (23 5/8 x 28 3/4 in.)

Footnotes

  • Literature:
    Jean Bouin-Luce et Denise Bazetoux, Maximilien Luce - Catalogue de l'oeuvre peint - Vol.II, Paris 1986

    As the art of Maximilien Luce conjures up the notion of light, his paintings equally reflect an extensive interest in the human figure. Born in 1958, Luce's 83 years had exposed him to a range of human experiences, covering among other things the tragedies brought by three important wars: the Franco Prussian War of 1871, World War I and World War II. A keen observer of man's expressions and gestures, Luce gave his human representations an in-depth account of their inner personalities. His portraits of Felix Fencon, Henri-Edmund Cross and Emile Verhaeren are amongst the best interpretations of these contemporary friends.

    But Luce took his painting beyond portraiture, engaging his eye in the observation of landscape and urban life. His friendship with Camille Pissarro, George Seurat and Paul Signac had led him to re-invent his painting along the definitions of neo-impressionist theories. Luce's adherence to pointillisme, in varying degrees of form, was at once a long and inconsistent experience. Indeed, from circa 1885 to 1894, Luce's painting examined the optical division of light such as defined by Paul Signac. From 1894 onwards, his brushstrokes gradually lost their point-form effect to find greater length and fluidity.

    The present painting shows one of the artist's favourite subjects, men at work. Here, the brush has lost it's pointed stroke without abandoning the brilliance of the neo-impressionist palette. The varying shades of pink and blue ensure the overall luminosity of the composition. In this representation of workman along the banks of the Seine, Luce avoids any individual representation of the figures. In providing a more homegenous group, he creates a vision of a single workforce.
    By concentrating the human energy around a turning handle, Luce manages to compose an image of interconnecting patterns, where the horizontal and vertical wooden structures frame the circular efforts of the assembled figures. The present painting shows off the artist's ability in working the elements of colour and figure into an image of bold composition and subtle colouring.
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