Eugène Fromentin France

10-24-1820 La Rochelle, FRA - 8-27-1876 La Rochelle, FRA

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Fromentin, Eugène

After leaving school Eugène Fromentin studied for some years under Louis Cabat, the landscape painter. Fromentin was one of the earliest pictorial interpreters of Algeria, having been able, while quite young, to visit the land and people that suggested the subjects of most of his works, and to store his memory as well as his portfolio with the picturesque and characteristic details of North African life.

In 1852, he paid a second visit to Algeria, accompanying an archaeological mission, and then completed that minute study of the scenery of the country and of the habits of its people which enabled him to give to his after-work the realistic accuracy that comes from intimate knowledge.

His books include Les Maîtres d'autrefois ("The Masters of Past Time", 1876) and Dominique and A Summer in the Sahara. In Les Maîtres d'autrefois he deals with the complexity of paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt and others, their style and the artists' emotions at the time of creating their masterpieces. Eugène Fromentin is also one of the first "art critics" to approach the subject of The Old Masters from a personal point of view - being a painter himself. He also puts the work in a social, political and economic context, as the Dutch Golden Age painting develops shortly after Holland won its independence.

Eugène Fromentin, was much influenced in style by Eugène Delacroix. His works are distinguished by striking composition, great dexterity of handling and brilliancy of color. His later works, however, show signs of an exhausted vein and of an exhausted spirit, accompanied or caused by physical enfeeblement.

Art Movement: Romanticism
Influences: Louis Cabat, Eugène Delacroix
Traveled: Algeria
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