FRERE Charles Théodore


Oil on canvas: 110 x 180 cm / 43.3 x 70.9 ins
Signed, situated and dated 'Le Nil Egypte 1877' lower left

Painter of historical subjects, genre scenes, local scenes, landscapes (with figures) and seascapes; watercolourist and draughtsman. Orientalist.

A pupil of Camille Roqueplan and Léon Cogniet, Charles Théodore Frère travelled in Normandy, Alsace and the Auvergne before visiting Algeria in 1837 (where he witnessed the fall of the city of Constantine to the French). He visited Algeria a second time the following year, stopping en route in Malta, Greece and Smyrna. He also spent some time in Egypt (around 1853), setting up a studio in Cairo and being formally accorded the courtesy title of ‘bey’ by the government of the day. He continued on to Syria, Palestine and Nubia, returning to France with a full sketchbook and lots of oriental ‘objets d’art’.

Charles Théodore Frère exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1834 to 1881, participated in the Expositions Universelles of 1855, 1867 and 1878 in Paris and, up to and including 1887, in the Salon des Artistes Français. He was awarded medals in 1848 and in 1865.

Frère’s body of work comprises almost exclusively oriental subject matter. Indeed, he was one of the few French artists to have painted Beirut, Jerusalem, Damascus and Palmyra.

Paris 1814 - 1888
French School

Autun - Bagnères-de-Bigorre - Bourges - Chicago - Laval - Minneapolis - Mulhouse - Nancy - New York - Paris - Perpignan - Reims - Rochefort - Soissons - Strasbourg

P. & V. Berko, "19th Century European Virtuoso Painters", Knokke 2011, p. 501-502.