Etienne DINET (1861-1929)
He was born in 1861 in Paris in a bourgeois social standing from Loiret. His father was an attorney at the Court of the Seine, his grandfather, an engineer, son of a king’s attorney at Fontainebleau. His mother, Louise Marie Adele Boucher was herself the daughter of an attorney. His stay at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris was successful. A medal Salon of Plastic Arts Palace of Industry (1884) which grants him a scholarship for Algeria, a country he had already visited in 1883, he then made a great journey to Ouargla and Laghouat. It is the decisive and marvelous discovery of the South that will profoundly mark the life of Dinet. Among the luminous works brought back from this trip is the admirable view of the “Terrasses de Laghouat” (exhibited at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Algiers). And where he stayed five years this time. On his return to Paris in 1889, he presented at the Universal Exhibition a series of paintings made in Bou-Saâda, which earned him a silver medal. Subjugated by the magnificence of southern Algeria, he undertakes, in 1905, another trip, and will settle in Bou-Saâda, his second homeland, to live permanently with his hosts and his brothers. Until then, Dinet had shared each of his summers between this locality, Biskra and Laghouat. Speaking fluently Arabic, which he had learned in Paris with his friend the orientalist Paul Leroy, Dinet penetrated further into the local life thanks to Sliman Ben Ibrahim. The men met in 1889, and an unfailing friendship was born between them. He participated in the Colonial Exhibitions of 1906 and 1922, and took an active part in the Salons of Algiers. He left the French Artists but regularly contributed to the Salons of the Orientalist Painting Society of which he was an important member. With the help of his friend Sliman, he travels the desert and becomes familiar with the nomadic and Bedouin tribes, discovering the Arab-Berber tradition. This will push him to love and then to convert to Islam in 1913 by becoming Nasr-Ed-Dine Dini and in 1929 after the pilgrimage to Mecca : Hadj-Nasr-Ed-Dine Dini. After the pilgrimage to Mecca completed April 2, 1929, he died December 24 of the same year in Paris without having been able to return to Algiers where he had a villa since 1924. A service was celebrated at the Mosque of Paris, before the burial at Bou-Saâda, in the funeral kouba he had built. During the thirties, the creation of a museum Dinet in Algiers was considered, in spite of some differences between Sliman, of which Dinet had made his adopted son, and Jeanne, his devoted sister but a little invasive. A museum is currently under study in Bou-Saâda. Etienne Dinet is one of the most sought after Orientalist collectors.
Oil on canvas
Mounted on mahogany panel
Signed on the top right : E. Dinet
– 20 x 15 cm (40 x 35 cm cadre inclus)
– 8 x 6 in. (16 x 13 in. framed)