The Thames at Vauxhall Bridge


Maximilien Luce ( French, 1858 - 1941 )

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General Description

Maximillian Luce was suffering immensely just after his wife left him when Camille Pissarro, always the father figure, invited Luce to travel to London with him to visit his son, Lucien. Pissarro made the suggestion out of respect for Luce, whose neo-impressionist paintings of the late 1880s and early 1890s are the pinnacle of his modest contribution to vanguard painting. Luce accepted the elder painter's invitation and spent June and July of 1892 in London (Bouin-Luce 1986, vol. 1, 25, 71). There the three men went frequently to museums and studied paintings, especially the works of Turner, whose views of the Thames they must have admired. As if in modernist mimicry of the great British master of color, both Pissarro and Luce decided to paint the Thames and her great bridges. Luce made this powerful charcoal drawing sometime during the summer of 1892 and, perhaps immediately, used it to form the compositional scaffolding for an important painting that he completed in 1893. The painting, "The Thames in London, Vauxhall Bridge" (private collection, London), was first exhibited in 1894, but the drawing for it is reproduced here for the first time. Many connoisseurs of Luce's career find that his greatest works are his charcoal drawings of the late 1880s and early 1890s, and Emery Reves evidently concurred. "Impressionist Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection," page 105