Medium: Oil On Canvas
Size: 46 x 33 cm
Signed: lower left: Dubois-Pillet
Collection of 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 a simply a pastime, proved to be an unusually talented artist, even exhibited at the Salons of 1877 and 1879.
He moved to Paris to pursue painting fulltime 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.