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borndied
1820, Oct 241876, Aug 27
a French painter and writer, now better remembered for his writings. He was born in La Rochelle. After leaving school he 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 1849, he was awarded a medal of the second class. 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 also puts the work in a social, political and economic context, as the Dutch Golden Age painting develops shortly after Holland won its independence.
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