Édouard Frédéric Richter

Édouard Frédéric Richter

Biography of Édouard Frédéric Richter ( 1844-1913 )

Edouard Richter was born in Paris in 1844. The son of a Dutch lady, he began his studies in the Hague Academy of Fine Art, then studied in Belgium,(Antwerp), before entering the Beaux-Arts Academy in Paris as a student of Ernest Hebert and Leon Bonnat.

He first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1866, « Orientale à la Fontaine, Alger » and in 1886, «A Jewish Lady, Algiers ». In 1883 he became a permanent member of the French Artists Society where his colleague, the artist Louis du Seigneur, highly rated his “palette of precious gems”. He received an Honorary mention in 1881, a third place medal in 1901, and a second place medal in 1902. Primarily known as a genre scenes and portrait painter in the years 1860-1870, Edouard Richter later gained recognition for his Orientalist paintings.

Among dramatically built up compositions, he exhibited sensual depictions of harems and odalisques evolving in a mysterious and oniric atmosphere. He introduced in his works a great number of accute architectural and ethnographic details. Here, he represents the features of the Maure architecture of the Alhambra in Grenade which he will reproduce often along his career. The costumes of the women sitting in the foreplan are equally deeply researched. They refer to the 'Kat' fabrics, worn by the noble society in Algeria at the end of the 19th century and issued from the traditional algerian Karabou art. The standing woman wears a magnificent silk dress, bearing the patterns of the luxurious silk factories from Lyon, France. Highly fashionable since the reign of Louis XI, in 1466, they were later exported to the Middle-East in the 19th century.

Richter had a great influence among several artists in the years 1870-1880, specially among the Austrian and German orientalist painters who had settled in Paris, like Ludwig Deutsch and Rudolph Ernst. They admired is ability in rendering so faithfully the poetical atmosphere of the East.

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