Maximilien Luce was born in Paris to a working-class family in 1858. At fourteen years old he was apprenticed to a wood engraver while attending art classes in the evenings. In 1876, Luce began working in the studio of Eugène Froment, contributing woodcut prints to French and foreign publications. There he met the French Impressionists Léo Gausson and Émile-Gustave Cavallo-Péduzzi and enrolled in classes with Carolus-Duran.
In 1879 Luce was called up for French military service. Although he was transferred to Paris in 1882 thanks to Carolus-Duran’s intervention, he continued to serve until 1883. By this time, Luce had almost completely shifted his focus from wood engraving to painting, and in the following decade the artist met Camille Pissarro, Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. Luce adopted their Divisionist style, which came to be known as Pointillism, and quickly became one of the leaders of the Neo-Impressionist movement. Luce joined the Société des Indépendants in 1887 and exhibited with them in almost every show until his death in 1941, eventually becoming Vice President in 1908 and President in 1935.
Luce’s work is in the collections of many art museums including the Art Institute of Chicago, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musee d’Orsay.