Stern Pissarro Gallery
Gustave Cariot was born in the Marais section of Paris, an village enclave where artists and small merchants flourished. His father was a luggage-maker and encouraged Gustave to become his apprentice, but the young Cariot insisted on pursuing an artistic career. As a youth, he dedicated his spare time to drawing, sketching various views of the city and countryside and eventually Cariot joined with the Societe des Artistes Indépendants and began exhibiting in major Parisian exhibitions. In addition to showing with the Salon Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Cariot participated in the Salon d’Automne and the Salon d’Hiver.
Although he stopped short of wholly adopting the scientific theories of the Pointillists, Cariot was particularly interested in their technique. He enjoyed exploring divisionism’s ability to communicate the luminescence and mutability of light and colour and, utilizing this technique, Cariot painted several series of works in Paris that feature iconic landmarks at different hours of the day and in different seasons. It was his aim to capture and document the many shifting faces of a single view, much in the same vein of Monet’s studies of the Cathedral at Rouen. The present painting comes from his series centering on the Pont Neuf in Paris. This work was completed between Noon and 1 PM, with the sun at its height and a river bustling with boats. The ripples of water highlight Cariot’s unique pointillism whereas his precise draftsmanship is evident in the bridges and architecture. This particular painting, noteworthy for its especially large size and broad vista of Paris, was an entry of Cariot to the Salon des Artistes Independants.