LUCE, Maximilien
(b. 1858, Paris, 1941, Paris)


French painter and printmaker. He was born and brought up in the working-class surroundings of Montparnasse, and an interest in the daily routines and labours of the petit peuple of Paris informs much of his art. After an apprenticeship with the wood-engraver Henri Théophile Hildebrand (b 1824), in 1876 he entered the studio of the wood-engraver Eugène Froment where he assisted in the production of engravings for various French and foreign publications such as L'Illustration and The Graphic. He also sporadically attended classes at the Académie Suisse and in the studio of Carolus-Duran. In Froment's studio he came into contact with the artists Léo Gausson and Emile-Gustave Peduzzi (Cavallo-Peduzzi; 1851-1917) and in their company began painting landscape subjects in and around the town of Lagny-sur-Marne.

He earned his living as a wood carver. In his painting, he became influenced by Impressionism. In 1887 he exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants, and in 1888 he had his first individual exhibition. He met Pissarro, Seurat, and Signac and joined the Neo-Impressionist group.

Like Camille Pissarro, Luce was active with anarchist groups in Paris in the 1890s, and in 1894 served a brief prison term. During World War I, Luce painted war scenes, depicting soldiers struggling against the horrors of the Great War.

Until 1904 he lived in Montmartre, whose streets became a favourite subject for his paintings. Beside street scenes and motifs like factories and wharfs, he painted numerous landscape paintings on his travels through the Étamps, Normandy and Brittany.