Etienne  DINET - Young girls fighting Full Screen

Young girls fighting

Etienne DINET (1861 - 1929)

Etienne DINET (1861-1929)
« LA LUTTE DES FILLETTES » (“Young girls fighting”)
This painting is reproduced in the “Catalogue raisonné” of the artist under the N° 180, page 202, and titled “La lutte des fillettes”.
All along his life and paintings, Dinet will be very found of the representation of Childhood and teenagers.
The young boys and girls of the village “Bou Saâda” are his models and give him inspiration : scenes of playing, swimming, portraits and quarrels.
Beside the literary apology through “his paintings of arab life”, Dinet offers us a more realistic and less idyllic representation of youth’s comportment : his appreciation of truth and his lucidity makes him realize paintings expressing the future adults’ attitudes and rivalries. (cf. Children’plays, fights for a coin…)
That is why DINET is so important for the Art and History of Orientalism. With each painting, DINET enters a little more in his most favorite and important subjects like family, faith, life of the inhabitants of this place of which he shares life, rather than just representing rapidly the scenes he assists as have already done some of other orientalist painters !

The painting we present here is one of the main “Chef d’Oeuvre” by Dinet. The daily life is described with an extraordinary pictorial way. The drama is expressed to its paroxysm with these two girls on the foreground painted at the exact moment of their fight. It is the center of the painting, showing us the heart of the scene. The movement is intense. The faces with an intense strength in the expression . As for the colors we discover the impressionist influence on the painter. The large chromatic palette, for the clothes and vegetation gives a great sensation of life in the painting.
On the back is mentioned the N° 6978.
Provenance: Private collection. Literature: « La vie et l’œuvre d’Etienne Dinet », par Koudir BENCHIKOU, Denise BRAHIMI, Paris, 1991, ACR Edition.
This painting is reproduced in the « catalogue raisonné » n° 180, page 202, titled
Artist Biography: Alphonse-Etienne DINET (1861-1929).
In 1884, Dinet takes in board for Algeria with a staff of entomologists ; it is the first travel among many others in this country. The next year he finished his two first Algerian oil on canvas with “Les terrasses de Laghouat” and “l’Oued M’Sila après l’orage”. During his third travel in 1886, Dinet with thirteen other artists including Paul Leroy and Baron Arthur Chassériau, and creates The Society of French Orientalist Painters, with Jean-Léon Gérôme and Benjamin Constant as Présidents Honoraires, and Léonce Bénédicte, Curator of Luxemburg Museum, as President.
In 1888, Dinet decides to learn arab language in Oriental Languages School in Paris and travels for the fourth time to Algeria, with a young guide Sliman Ben Ibrahim which he decides to live with and collaborates during many years. His works are exposed to the Universal Exhibition in 1889 rewarded with a silver medial. Dinet participates to the creation of the “Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts” with 13 other artists.
In 1904, after staying long times in Algeria, Dinet decides to buy a house in the south of Bou-Saada. Between two continents he works a lot and integrates little by little in his new culture of which he lives and finds inspiration. He doesn’t want any more orientalist scene inspired with exotic landscapes in a Greco-roman style. He searches after meticulous realism. He is particularly inspired with representation of women across muslin religion. In spite of numerous nude of young Algerians, Dinet is different of other painters having described Orient with sometimes much more sensuality.
He sometimes uses photography to capture his models ‘expressions. His exacerbate romantism, without using landscape and his representation of women (subject he was extremely found of) is very far from the usual occidental vision about Orient. In 1908, he converts to islam.
Few orientalist painters are considered as national icon in the countries where they have painted. Alphonse-Etienne DINET is a French painter educated in Paris whose “Master” reputation after his death in Algeria where he lived and worked during about 50 years is still obvious. Son of a prosperous lawyer, he first made his military service in Normandy before his inscription Art School and Galland workshop where he studied painting and anatomy. He finished his learning in Julien Academy. His paintings were welcomed with acclamations in “Salon des Artistes français”.
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