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The River Sambre at Charleroi (La Sambre à Charleroi)

The River Sambre at Charleroi (La Sambre à Charleroi)

On View

Elvehjem : Gallery : 5

Maximilien Luce

Maximilien Luce’s predominant subjects are landscapes and urban scenes depicting the world of the working class. This painting was executed in 1896 at a time when the artist painted scenes of the “Black Country” of Belgium, a region devastated by coal mining and a decade of violent strikes. Under Luce’s brush, however, the polluted sky above Charleroi and the dreary stretch of bank along the Sambre River are transformed into a luminous composition glowing with color. Luce, together with the painters Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, and Camille Pissarro, was one of the founders of neoimpressionism, a movement based on the scientific study of light and the prismatic effect of colors. The neoimpressionists used a technique of dotted brushwork called pointillism to create vibrant color harmonies with points of pigments which blended in the viewer’s eye. ________________ During the late 1880’s and 1890’s, Maximilien Luce was affiliated with the movement known as Neo-Impressionism. The painters of this movement, which included Seurat, Signac and Pissaro, expanded upon the Impressionists’ fascination with recreating the effects of light through color by devising a systematic approach to the application of pigment. The dotted brushwork that they utilized was meant blend in the viewer’s eye to create vibrant harmonies.
Maximilien Luce
(French, 1858 - 1941)
The River Sambre at Charleroi (La Sambre à Charleroi)
Oil on canvas
25 3/4 x 32 in. Overall
Elvehjem Museum of Art General Endowment Fund purchase
Accession No.


1964?-1982, Hirschl and Alder Galleries (New York, NY); 1982; sold to the Elvehjem Museum of Art [now called Chazen Museum of Art]

  • Elvehjem Museum of Art. "Handbook of the Collection." Elvehjem Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Madison, 1990. no. 103
  • Elvehjem Museum of Art. "Bulletin 1981-1983." Madison: Elvehjem Museum of Art, 1983. p. 67

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