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Europeans & Americans Abroad; Philadelphia Collection 73; September 2004
 
 
painting
 
Maximilien Luce
(French, 1858–1941)
Flowers in a Vase
Oil on paper mounted on canvas, 16 1/4 × 20 3/4 inches
Signed at lower left: “Luce”
Label (dealer) on frame verso: (typewritten) “Bouquet de Fleurs/MAXIMILIEN LUCE/1858–1941”/(printed) “Shoneman Galleries/[ . . . ]/New York”
RECORDED: Denise Bazetoux and Jean Bouin-Luce, Maximilien Luce: Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvres peint (Paris, Éditions Jeran Bouin-Luce, 1986), no. 1155, as Fleurs dans un Vase


Maximilien Luce was apprenticed to the printer Hildebrans in his native Paris to learn the art of engraving, which he continued to practice with the firm of Froment in Paris and London. At the same time, he studied painting at night, even during his military service, when he worked in the studio of Émile-Auguste Carolus-Duran (1837–1917). Early in his career he was befriended by the renowned Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro (1830–1903), whose advice had great influence on the younger artist. With Paul Signac (1863–1935), Luce founded the “Neo-Impressionist” school, whose adherents sought to define form by rendering the effects of light in broken color. Luce exhibited with the avant-garde “Indépendents,” showing mostly landscapes, but also producing figural compositions that depicted the lives of the poor. His genuine concern for the less fortunate led him to participate in radical politics, which resulted in his imprisonment in the 1890s. During his long career Luce was an extremely prolific painter and printmaker. Although he never sought honors, he accepted the presidency of the Société des Artistes Indépendents after Signac’s death in 1935, only to resign in protest against the anti-Semitic policies of the Vichy government.


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