Eugène Girardet

Eugène Girardet
Eugène Girardet

Biography of Eugène Girardet ( 1853-1907 )

Eugène Girardet was born into a family known to produce artists since the 18th century. His father Paul, who was an engraver, initiated him into the arts. He then continued his studies with Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Paris Academy of Fine Arts, and the enthusiasm of his master inspired the young artist to visit Orient.

In 1874, he travelled to Morocco, Spain, and Algeria, during the first of his eight trips in North Africa. Like many artists, he finded the north of the colony too much European, so he decided to travel in the south. He discovered there the oases of Biskra, El Kantara and Bou-Sââda, where the light and atmosphere would lead him to alter his technique and lighten his palette. He worked there beside the famous orientalist painter Étienne Dinet. 

He was particularly interested in local customs and indigenous life. Daily tasks, the villagers, the caravans, evening prayer and the desert landscapes all became sources of his inspiration.

He exhibited at the Salon of French Artists from 1878 to 1880. In 1898, he traveled to Egypt and Palestine. The Georges Petit Gallery dedicated a large exhibition to his work on the following year, in 1899.

As a prominent member of the French Society of Orientalist Painters, he participated in the 1900’s Universal Exhibition, and in the Marseille Colonial Exhibition in 1906. 

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