Denise Bazetoux will include this painting in her forthcoming supplement to the Luce catalogue raisonné.
In 1879 Ogden N. Rood published his treatise 'Modern Chromatics', in which he presented the discovery of the scientific principals of optical fusion. His writings drew the attention of a group of Impressionist painters who had been seeking a more systematic approach to rendering the effects of light and they applied this new understanding of how the eye mixed colour to their painting. Rejecting the traditional system of mixing colours on a palette, they formulated a painterly technique of 'Divisionism' or 'Pointillism' in which pure pigments were placed directly onto the canvas with short brushstrokes.
Luce was one of the earliest practitioners of this technique and, through his friendship with Camille Pissarro, came to know Georges Seurat, Paul Signac and Henri-Edmond Cross. He exhibited seven 'divisionist' paintings with the group in the third exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants in 1887. His entries to the exhibition earned the favorable attention of the art critic Felix Fenéon who singled them out for praise. Luce was less bound by the theoretical dicta of optical fusion than the other members of his circle and his paintings favoured a more instinctive approach, which he applied with equal interest to landscapes and portraits. Luce visited Pissarro in Eragny and Signac in Herblay, and the exchange between the artists played an important role in Luce's artistic development. So intertwined were the lives of these artists during this period that Seurat's family asked Luce to inventorise the contents of Seurat's studio when he died in 1891.
Beginning in 1889, Luce painted a series of works portraying the Seine from different viewpoints and at different times of the day. One of his earliest paintings of this subject, Le Pont-Neuf (B. 250) was purchased by Signac. Paris, la Seine et le quai de la Mégisserie vue du quai de l'Horloge is remarkable for its delicacy of colour and atmosphere. The art critic Jules Christophe in discussing the Salon des Indépendants in 1890 commented on two views of Paris by Luce, one by daylight and the other at twilight '...Le quai de la Mégisserie, le quai du Louvre, l'ouverture de la rue du Pont-Neuf, le magasin de la Belle Jardinière... des passants affairés en foule grouillante, des omnibus polychromes et les bannes bariolées des boutiques...' (J. Bouin-Luce & D. Bazetoux, Maximilien Luce, Catalogue de l'oeuvre peint, vol. I, Paris, 1986, p. 168).