Sandrecourt, Le Chemin au Bord de la Riviere
oil on canvas
36.3 x 28.7 inches
signed lower right
In the later part of Maximilien Luce’s life, he moved away from most everything that had defined him to that point. He moved to a country home in the picturesque farming community of Rolleboise, 40 miles outside Paris, and just a few miles downriver from Monet’s Giverny. Taking to the more quiet life, he became less involved in politics. In his art, he turned from the pointillist style and returned to Impressionism, painting landscapes like this one, inspired by the beauty of his new home.
Luce was in his late seventies when this was painted and in each stroke there is a love for the serenity of the landscape and of French country life. It’s as if he needed Impressionist freedom with brush strokes, to layer his brush with thick paint leaving heavy impasto touches, depicting the softness of the landscape, an idealized world free from hard edges. A fisherman walks casually along a riverside path, setting off to cast his line into the Seine. In the background we see the town of Rolleboise. The greens are lush and rich with depth. The sky moves golden to violet, reflecting the landscape and Luce’s Fauvist influences. The river rushes past with great movement, the artist’s skill showing activity yet overall calm. This is the mature hand of a master, free to express his own vision of the natural world.
The painting includes a photocopy of a handwritten letter from the artist’s son, Frederic Luce, dated June 23 1965 and stamped by Reyn Gallery, Inc., New York which authenticates the painting and confirms that it is a view of Rolleboise.
Literature: J. Bouin-Luce and D. Bazetoux, “Maximilien Luce: Catalog Raisonne de l’Oeuvre Peint”, vol. II, Paris, 1986, p. 531, no.2281, illustrated.