Lot 12
  • 12

Etienne Dinet

40,000 - 60,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Etienne Dinet
  • La Prière
  • signed E. Dinet lower right
  • oil on canvas
  • 25 by 37cm., 9¾ by 14½in.


Private Collection, France
Purchased from the above by the present owner


Bordeaux, Terrasse du jardin public, Exposition de la Société des Amis des Arts, 1902, no. 181


Denise Brahimi & Koudir Benchikou, La vie et l'oeuvre de Etienne Dinet, Paris, 1984, p. 291, cited; p. 249, no. 377, catalogued & illustrated (titled Arabe en prière)

Catalogue Note

A respectful and moving observation of a man at prayer, the present work is among the first of the scenes of Islamic religious life which increasingly preoccupied Dinet as he installed himself permanently in Algeria. Focusing on the man's gestures and intense pious concentration, Dinet increasingly painted religious scenes in the years which led to his own official conversion to Islam in 1913, upon which he adopted the name Nasreddin (defender of the faith) (fig. 1).

Framed by a dramatic backdrop of mountains, the man begins to pray. Presented in the pose of takhbir, the devotee begins the religious act by facing towards Mecca and raising his hands above his shoulders. Communion with the divine traditionally commences with the glorifying statement of ‘Allahu Akbar’, 'God is Great'

According to the doctrines of Islam, the act of prayer must be undertaken five times during the course of the day. Whether in a congregation or in solitude, this religious performance follows the same traditional sequence of motions.

Presented in its original frame, bearing the motto of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada: Wa lā ghāliba illā-llāh 'There is no conqueror but God'.