Maximilien LUCE (Paris 1858 - Paris 1941)
Study of a Nude Bather
Black chalk, pastel and pencil, with framing lines in pencil.
Stamped with the artist’s signature Luce (not in Lugt) in black ink at the lower right, and with the atelier stamp Luce in a circle (not in Lugt) in red ink at the lower left.
Stamped with a drystamp Maximilien Luce / J. Bouin-Luce (not in Lugt) at the lower right.
Further stamped COLLECTION/ JEAN-BOUIN LUCE (not in Lugt) in black ink and numbered CR 954 in pencil on the verso.
254 x 468 mm. (10 x 18 3/8 in.)
This splendid, large drawing is a study for a figure at the lower right of Luce’s large painting Bathers at Saint-Tropez, painted in 1892 during his first of several visits to Saint-Tropez, and today in a private collection. Two further studies by Luce for other female nudes in the same painting, each squared for transfer and much less refined in execution than the present sheet, are in private collections. A related, large oil sketch of the composition, with several differences in the arrangement of the figures, is also in a private collection.
As the contemporary scholar Adolphe Tabarant, writing in 1894, noted, ‘Luce tries to tell us about Saint-Tropez, Camaret and London in a score of paintings…How it all pulsates and how true it rings!’
In the artist’s studio at the time of his death
By descent in the family of the artist to Jean Bouin-Luce (with his collection drystamp, not in Lugt, at the lower right)
Anonymous sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 23 May 2007, lot 94
Jean-Luc Baroni Ltd., London, in 2008
Private collection, London.
Jean Bouin-Luce and Denise Bazetoux, Maximilien Luce: catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, Paris, 1986, Vol.II, p.239, no.954.