Charles Théodore Frère France

6-21-1814 Paris, FRA – 5-24-1886 Paris, FRA

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Charles Théodore Frère studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under Jules Coignet and Camille Roqueplan. On completing his studies, he travelled throughout France visiting Alsace, Auvergne and Normandy. On returning to Paris, he exhibited Vue des Environs de Strasbourg at the 1834 Paris Salon. His exhibits at the Salon in subsequent years were nearly all Orientalist paintings as a result of several journeys to Africa and the Near East.

After a stay in Algiers in 1836, he left with the army for Constantine which was taken on 13 October 1837, returning to Paris in 1839. Like his younger brother Pierre-Édouard, he was a prolific painter. During his first trip to Algeria, he completed works for the King of Württemberg. Around 1851, he undertook a further journey to the Near East, visiting Malta, Greece, Egypt and Turkey becoming one of the few artists to paint Beirut, Damascus and Palmyra. In 1853, Charles Théodore Frère established a studio in Cairo, becoming the court painter there. The viceroy of Egypt elevated him to the rank of Bey, and the Turkish government named him Officer of the Order of Medjidieh.

In 1869, he once again traveled to the Egypt, now as a member of Empress Eugénie's party, for the opening of the Suez Canal. The Empress commissioned Charles Théodore Frère a series of watercolors, but not were never delivered because of the disastrous defeat of France in 1870 to the Prussian Army, which ended last French monarchy. These works became the property of the Marquise de la Puisaye, friend and student of Frère, who inherited all the studio of the Master and the works contained therein.

Art Movement: Orientalism
Influences: Jules Coignet, Camille Roqueplan
Traveled: Algeria, Malta, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria
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