Together Pissarro and Luce took in the sights and sounds of the city and, on their return to Paris, produced some of the most beautiful renderings of London in the Post-Impressionist style, translating their enthusiasm into bold, beautiful canvases. They were following in the footsteps of Impressionist master Claude Monet, who first visited London in 1870 and whose series of views of the Houses of Parliament are today housed in museums across the world; these are even cited as the most valuable colour record of the Victorian fogs. The present work pays homage to what is perhaps the most iconic example of them all, Impression, Soleil levant, whose title gave rise to the term ‘Impressionism’.
Soleil sur la Tamise depicts the Thames in the pointillist style for which Luce is most celebrated, glowing with the pink hues cast by the setting sun. The rhythmic brushwork of the divisionist technique gives form to a glittering horizon and glinting reflection on the water surface. Almost the entirety of Luce’s London production focused on representations of the river, enveloped in the hazes of the capital city. The present work is a celebration of a particular time and place, when the artist was at the height of his pointillist prowess, inspired by new surrounds, and instilling in his canvas a palpable sense of serenity.
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