Albert Dubois-Pillet

Paysage à l’Écluse (The Lock)

Paysage à l’Écluse (The Lock) by Albert Dubois-Pillet

Artwork Detail

This study of a wide canal reveals the early experimental phase of French Neo-Impressionist painting around 1886. Clusters of tall, narrow poplars and other trees along the far bank are reflected on the still surface of the water. Traces of industry, such as the lock in the distance and the tow path in the foreground, reflect the banal functionality of the zones that linked city and countryside in late 19th-century France.

The author is one of the pioneers of the movement, Albert Dubois-Pillet, a professional soldier and self-taught artist, who in 1884 founded the Société des Indépendants alongside Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. Using numerous tiny and systematically applied touches of violet, red and green, Dubois-Pillet has evoked an atmospheric time of day, when forms become ambiguous in the dappled early morning light. Air, light and water appear both solid, yet ephemeral. Although there is no trace of movement, the entire scene appears, by virtue of the ‘divisionist’ technique, to be on the brink of dissolution.

– Sophie Matthiesson, Senior Curator, International Art, 2022

Paysage à l’Écluse (The Lock)
Albert Dubois-Pillet
Production date
oil on canvas
250 x 310 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with the assistance of the Lyndsay Garland Trust, 2022
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
On display

To find out which artworks are available for print requests and reproduction please enquire here. This service only applies to select artworks in the Gallery's collection.