An image of The snake charmer

Nasreddine Dinet

(France 28 Mar 1861 – 24 Dec 1929)

The snake charmer

19th & 20th c European art
Further information

Another of the prolofic technicians of late nineteenth-century art, Dinet was a French-born painter-illustrator, with a penchant for attention-seeking titles and striking technical effects are exploited in 'The snake charmer', an orientalist painting that doubles as a touristic postcard. Exotic in its geo-graphical setting and sensational in its subject matter, it further trades on scale as a strategy to arrest the viewer. The figures are large and brilliantly coloured, seeming to spill into the gallery space. The charmer himself is consciously that, with a toothy smile and 'authentic' costume. Also noteworthy is the treatment of bright sunlight which Dinet translates into broad applications of impasto paint with practised, not to say formulaic, ease. No real attempt is made to create a composition. Rather, the cropped casualness of a photograph is suggested.

AGNSW Handbook, 1999.

oil on canvas
176.5 x 180.4 cm
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l., yellow oil "E. DINET / ...1889".
Purchased 1890
Accession number
Paris Salon, Paris/France, Purchased by the AGNSW from the Paris Salon 1890
Art Set
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