A group of little girls by Étienne Dinet greatly appealed to fans of this brilliant Orientalist painter.
Étienne Dinet (1861-1929), Little girls looking into the distance, oil on canvas, 81.5 x 65 cm.
Will the 2020s echo the 2000s for Étienne Dinet (1861-1929)? Though his works have become far rarer at auction and his index has fallen, the artist landed €384,400 with this painting: a result that seems to herald a change of direction. It must be said that this highly subtle work has a very attractive subject – Little Girls Looking into the Distance (Fillettes regardant au loin) towards the horizon – and thus great appeal. As we know, Dinet adopted Algeria, its people, its customs and even the Muslim religion so thoroughly that he was buried there as Nasreddine Dinet. He was also the first author of a French biography of the prophet Mohammed, written in 1918 and dedicated "to the memory of the Muslims who died for France". By then he had long moved beyond the erotic exoticism of his early paintings towards the sincerity and authenticity we see in this work.