French painter and army officer. (His real name: Albert Dubois.) He pursued a military career at the Ecole Impériale Militaire at Saint-Cyr, from which he graduated in 1867. He fought in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) and was held prisoner in Westphalia by the Germans; upon release he joined the Versailles army and participated in the suppression of the Commune. Following various assignments in the provinces, in late 1879 he was appointed to the Légion de la Garde Républicaine in Paris.
Dubois-Pillet was a self-taught amateur painter, closely aligned with the Neo-Impressionists. Though not formally trained, various Salons accepted his still-lifes for display as early as 1877. In 1884 he was the organizer and first president of the Société des artistes indépendants, where a Naturalist painting influenced by Manet caused a furious debate. Encouraged by Seurat, he subsequently began to paint pointillist landscapes, open-air genre scenes and portraits.
Dubois-Pillet exhibited regularly with the Indépendants until 1889, and the only one-man exhibition of his work held in his lifetime took place at the Revue Indépendent in 1888. In 1888 and 1890 he exhibited with Les XX in Brussels.
In an effort to camouflage his artistic activities from his military career, in 1884 he began to sign works of art “Dubois” with the addition of his mother’s maiden name, “Pillet.” Though the military forbade him from participating in art exhibitions in 1886, he remained active until his death.
Perhaps because of this defiance, in 1889 he was posted to Le Puy in south central France as commander of the local gendarmerie. He died there during a smallpox outbreak in 1890.