Maximilien Luce, known to be one of the most famous representatives of Neo-Impressionism, was born in Paris in 1858. Trained as an engraver and then by profession, he devoted himself to painting, after taking various drawing courses – notably in the decorative arts – and the teaching of Carolus-Duran. In 1884, the first Salon des Indépendants allowed him to confront the nascent Neo-Impressionism, with Georges Seurat at the head of the prow. This application of colour in juxtaposed touches on the canvas, inherited from the lessons and theories of Goethe and Charles Henry, conquered Luce’s sensitivity. The optical blending of tones relays the one that painters used to use on the palette, allowing an unprecedented luminosity to emerge from the compositions.
He met members of this movement such as Luce, Seurat, Signac and Pissarro in 1887, after having adopted the divisionist technique.
Unlike Paul Signac, the theorist of the group to which he was very close, Luce was much freer in his interpretation of the precepts of the movement, using colours and choosing very personal subjects – particularly industrial and labour subjects – that set him apart from his peers.