Medium: Oil On Canvas
Size: 46 x 33 cm
Signed: lower left: Dubois-Pillet
Collection Oscar Ghez, Musée du Petit Palais, Genève, catalogue n° 9180. Galerie Matignon Saint-Honoré.
Albert Dubois-Pillet, sa vie et son œuvre (1846-1890), by Lily Balzagette, Gründ Diffusion, 1976, p 76, illustrated; To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the painting of Albert Dubois-Pillet by Monsieur Offenstadt and the Wildenstein Institute.
A close friend of the artist Georges Seurat although fourteen years his senior, Dubois-Pillet was one of the earliest practitioners of pointillisme as it came to be called. He made his early career in the army but, having relegated painting to simply a pastime, proved to be an unusually talented artist, even exhibiting at the Salons of 1877 and 1879.
He moved to Paris to pursue painting full-time the following year and befriended there the fellow artists who, since 1874, had been exhibiting together. They were already labeled Impressionists. Their influence transformed Dubois-Pillet’s work; it also insured that judges for the Salons of 1880 and 1884 refused his submissions.
Yet nor did Dubois-Pillet ever exhibit with the Impressionists; his friendship with Seurat and Signac as well as his routine presence at the café La nouvelle Athènes (where the most radical artists of the day were habitués,) led Dubois-Pillet to embrace a ‘neo-impressionist’ style of painting instead. He adopted a pointillism more instinctive than the controlled, precise approach of Seurat. Whilst he sought a means of demonstrating radical colorist theories, Dubois-Pillet saw pointillism as a novel way to portray the effects of light and build form.