Gustave Cariot was born in the Marais section of Paris, an enclave where artists and small merchants flourished. His father was a luggage-maker and encouraged him 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. Eventually Cariot joined the Societe des Artistes Independants and began showing his work in major Parisian exhibitions. In addition to showing with the Salon Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Cariot also 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. Cariot enjoyed exploring Divisionism’s ability to communicate the luminescence and mutability of light and color. 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 as Monet’s studies of the Cathedral at Rouen.
This painting depicts a view of the Pont Royal in Paris. A bright green tone runs throughout, unifying the painting and giving it a vivid quality. The ripples of water highlight Cariot’s unique Pointillism, whereas his precise draftsmanship is evident in the bridges and architecture.