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Eug�ne Fromentin - French Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Eug�ne Fromentin (1820 - 1876)

French painter, Eugene Fromentin specialized in Oriental scenes and made frequent visits to North Africa. His paintings were popular during his day but are now practically forgotten. He is mainly remembered for his book, Les Maitres d’autrefois, which was a history of 17th century Flemish and Dutch painting. 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 1849 he obtained a medal of the second class. In a certain sense his works are contributions to ethnological science as much as they are works of art. His works are distinguished by striking composition, great dexterity of handling and brilliancy of colour. In them is given with great truth and refinement the unconscious grandeur of barbarian and animal attitudes and gestures. His later works, however, show signs of an exhausted vein and of an exhausted spirit, accompanied or caused by physical enfeeblement.

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