(1820 - 1876 LA ROCHELLE, FRANCE)

Fromentin left school to study 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 1849, he was awarded a medal of the second class. His books include Les Maîtres d’autrefois “The Masters of Past Time” (1876), an influential appreciation of Early Netherlandish painting and the Northern Baroque of the Old Masters of Belgium and Holland. In Les Maîtres d’autrefois he deals with the complexity of paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt and others, their style and the artist’s emotions at the time of creating their masterpieces. The book reveals the senses of a master to employ when interpreting works of art by understanding the terroir from which they were sprung. So, passages in his memoir reveal a knowledge of stagnant breezes in Rembrandt’s city the artist likely inhaled while working. He 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 put the works in a social, political and economic context, as the Dutch Golden Age painting develops shortly after Holland won its independence. (Source: Wikipedia).