Pointillist painter and political activist Maximilien Luce began his artistic life as a wood carver and engraver. He was born to working class parents in Paris and worked as a commercial engraver, traveling to England before serving in the military in 1879.
It was after this time that Luce would return to Paris and become a familiar face in the cafes and where he would meet influential artists such as Pissarro, Seurat and Signac, all of whom would serve as founding members of the Neo Impressionist movement. His friendship with Seurat allowed the influence of pointillism to appear in some of his works, while Pissarro's interest in the Divisionist technique would also impress Luce.
In 1887 Luce and his peers were exhibiting at the Salon des Independants and founded the l'Ecole des Neo Impressionistes.
Additionally, Luce and Pissarro would share political sensibilities and befriend Anarchist writers of the day. His beliefs would frequently appear in some of his work, which emphasized scenes of everyday life in the working classes rather than the comfortable middle class of the era.
By 1900 however Luce had tired of the Pointillism techniques and returned to many of his earlier Impressionist techniques. He also found inspiration in the emerging Fauvist school, which relied on less traditional color palettes and strong brush work all intended to evoke an emotional response.
He remained in the heavily artistic neighborhood of Montmartre until 1904, after which he transitioned between Auteuil and Paris, where he continued to paint street scenes and capture life of the factory workers and seafarers. After World War I he would also create scenes depicting the returning soldiers.
In the 1930s he served as president of the Societe des Artistes Independants and continued his political activity by resigning from the post in protest of anti-Jewish policies.
His work is contained in the collections of many major museums including the National Gallery of Oslo, the Phoenix Art Museum and the Museum D'Orsay in Paris.