A distinguished writer and artist, Fromentin is best known today by his paintings. His was the era of Louis-Napoleon and of French development of foreign colonies. Beginning in the studio of the academic painter Rémond, Fromentin later studied under Cabat and became associated with his new landscape style. Like Delacroix, Marilhat and Decamps, Fromentin was strongly attracted to North Africa and its “oriental” aspects.1
Fromentin devoted much of his life to painting the Algerian Arabs.The vibrant quality of the Algerian light has been admirably caught by Fromentin in the Arabian Camp
of 1873. Penetrating, like the desert heat, even into the shadows, it is so powerful that it fades and dilutes the colors. In 1861, Fromentin had discovered Corot's use of the gray tones of colors.2
The soft gradations of colors throughout this painting illustrate Fromentin's debt to Corot.Fromentin painted in his studio from sketches made in Algeria. He had a particular love for the Arabian horse which he painted frequently. Fromentin's adept hand and perceptive understanding of the equine character may explain why Mr. McMillan, who was also a lover of horses, was particularly drawn to this painting.Endnotes
Referenced Work of Art
- George Beaume, Fromentin, New York, Stokes, 1913. p. 29.
- Ibid., p. 48.
- Eugène Fromentin, French, 1820-1876. An Arabian Camp, 1873. Oil on panel, 11” x 18”. Signed and dated lower left: Eug. Fromentin, é73. Accession 61.36.11.CollectionsElsie Lehman Weil, New York; Meyer H. Lehman, New York; Georges Wildenstein and Company, New York; P. D. McMillan, Minneapolis, 10 October, 1959; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Bequest of Putnam Dana McMillan, 15 November, 1961.