The Île à bois, Kermouster, Lézardrieux

Maximilien Luce1914

Musée des impressionnismes Giverny

Musée des impressionnismes Giverny
Giverny, France

After an apprenticeship as a print maker, Maximilien Luce attended the Académie Suisse and was admitted to the painter Carolus-Duran's studio in 1876. Created in the early 1880s, his first works were bright landscapes painted in Paris or its suburbs. Meeting Georges Seurat and Paul Signac during his first participation in the 1887 Salon des Artistes Indépendants was a turning point for the artist. From then on, he adhered to Neo-Impressionist esthetics and practiced very freely within that framework. Over the years, he gradually moved away from the divisionist approach and around the turn of the century, he adopted a broader style, close to Impressionism but with occasional colorful flashes reminiscent of Fauvism.
Luce spent the summer of 1914 at Kermouster near Lézardrieux in Brittany, where he painted landscapes. This painting, a product of that summer, conveys a much calmer artistic style. As usual, the artist constructed the landscape with great energy. The diagonal lines of the stone walls and the rocky masses that border the Trieux estuary form the dominant lines of the composition. However, these are balanced by the vertical lines of a copse of trees in the center of the painting. Like his friend Camille Pissarro, Luce was interested in human activity, which he brings to mind here not only by including two indistinct figures, but also by alluding to human work (as suggested by the hay stacks and the stud farm).
The dominant chromatic blue and green, as well as the close attention paid to the very pure light of Brittany seasides, are similar to that of Claude Monet of the same time. After the war, Luce bought a house on the banks of the Seine at Rolleboise, not far from Giverny, and paid regular visits to the father of Impressionism.


  • Title: The Île à bois, Kermouster, Lézardrieux
  • Creator: Maximilien Luce
  • Date Created: 1914
  • Location: Giverny, musée des impressionnismes, don de Dominique Ledebt, 2011, MDIG 2011.1.2
  • Physical Dimensions: 97 x 130.5 cm
  • Rights: © Giverny, musée des impressionnismes
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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