Eugène Fromentin, French, 1820-1876
Title: Crossing the Ford, Algeria
Date: 1869
Medium: Oil on canvas
73 x 110 cm
Signed: lower left: Eug. Fromentin lower right: 1869
Credit Line: Presented, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, 1950
Object Number: NGI.4232
ProvenanceIssac Pereire; Mme.Gustave Pereire; sale, Paris 4 June 1937; Sir Alfred Chester Beatty; presented, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, 1950.
Exhibition HistoryExposition des oeuvres de Eugène Fromentin, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1877, no.36

Centenaire de la Conquête d' Algérie, Petit Palais, Paris,1930

French 19th and 20th Century Paintings from the National Gallery of Ireland: Corot to Picasso, Daimaru Museum, Tokyo, 5 September-17 September 1996; Daimaru Museum, Kyoto, 10 October-22 October 1996; Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, Yamanashi, 26 October-2 December 1996; Daimaru Museum, Umeda,Osaka, 22 January-9 February 1997; Aomori Municpal Gallery of Art, Aomori, 2 April-20 April 1997

Chester Beatty: The Paintings, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, 7 September 2012 - 31 August 2013; The Hunt Museum, Limerick, 1 February - 30 March 2014
Label TextFromentin visited Algeria many times. He wrote about its culture and customs, and made sketches as source material for paintings. Here, he shows an Arab tribe crossing a shallow ford by foot and on horseback. By the mid-1860s, Fromentin felt trapped by his success as an Orientalist and started to vary his subject matter. Critics did not appreciate his attempts to innovate however and, in 1869, he returned to painting Eastern scenes such as this. Fromentin said that he spent five days reworking every figure in the picture because it was ‘dull’.

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