Collect this unique work by impressionist Maximilien Luce titled La Camaret with a very prestigious provenance.
Born into a working-class family that encouraged him to pursue a practical profession, Luce became associated with the Post-Impressionist movement by way of his close friendships with Paul Signac, Camille Pissarro and later, Georges Seurat. Having apprenticed as a wood engraver, Luce only became a painter in 1882, when the technological development of zincography eliminated wood engraving as a profession. His first entry into the Salon des Artistes Indépendants in 1887 was well received by Seurat, Pissarro and the influential art critic Félix Fénéon, who a year later gave Luce his first solo exhibition, solidifying his prestige and recognition as an artist. While Luce participated in every Post-Impressionist exhibition organized during his lifetime, his fierce sense of individualism made it difficult for him to adhere completely to any set doctrine. His paintings often did not meet the scientific standards of Seurat's technique of divisionism—an approach that sought to mimic the optics of the human eye through precise dots of complementary colors. La Fossette Saint-Clair, près du Lavandou articulates the idiosyncrasies that often set Luce apart from other Post-Impressionists. While reminiscent of Signac's prismatic palette, Luce lacks the precise dot, the distinct autonomous mark of divisionism. "Maximilien Luce never bothered much with theory," art critic Charles Saunier remarked. "The principles of the contrast of colors were subordinated to his strong personality and his impressions" (quoted in Maximilien Luce: Neo-Impressionist, exh. cat., Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny, p. 14). It is true that while Luce's color choice is not outlandish, the kaleidoscopic quality does not reflect nature as it is perceived. In fact, the varied tones of mauve, plum and violet in La Fossette Saint-Clair, près du Lavandou seem to reflect Luce's personal chromatic preference. "Not too much violet my dear Luce," wrote fellow Neo-Impressionist, Charles Angrand, in a letter to Luce. "This would make all those who already think highly of your work very happy" (quoted in ibid., p. 16). Despite this feedback, Luce continued to incorporate hues of blue and violet into his compositions, imbuing his own personality and elevating the image with an ethereal touch. The serene sunset of La Fossette Saint-Clair, près du Lavandou is a fitting apparatus for Luce's preferred palette.
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