In 1839 he went to Paris, where he planned to study law, but, fascinated by the fine arts, became engaged in the Studio landscape painter Nicolas-Louis Kaba.In 1852, he accompanied an archaeological mission. In 1847 he participated in the Paris salon.In 1863 Fromentin published his only novel ("Dominic"). In 1869 Fromentin went to Venice, and also in Egypt (in connection with the opening of the Suez canal). From this time his painting began to show not only Algerian, but Venetian and Egyptian motifs.In 1875 he made a trip to the Netherlands, where got acquainted with the work of Dutch painters.
Born in La Rochelle on 24 October 1820. In 1839 was sent to Paris to study law, but, fascinated by the visual arts, began to engage in the Studio of the painter N. L. Cobb. Initially he painted mostly landscapes, from 1845 began performing as a critic, publishing reviews of current stores.
Under the impression of travelling in Algeria (in 1846 1847-1848, 1852-1853) his painting in the best and most typical of their samples — have taken a pronounced romantic-orientalist character (the Scene in the wilderness, 1868, Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg; the Land of thirst CA. 1869, musée d'orsay, Paris; etc.). The same bravura, sometimes dramatically exotic infused his books of travel notes (Summer in the Sahara, Un Été dans le Sahara, 1857; a Year in the Sahel, Une Année dans le Sahel, 1859). In 1863 he published his only novel (Dominique, Dominique) on (partly autobiographical) story of unrequited love of a young hero to a married woman. The painting was later applied not only to Algiers, but also Venetian and Egyptian motifs (visited Egypt in connection with the opening in 1869 of the Suez canal).
Feeling a deep attraction towards the old Dutch and Flemish masters, made in 1875 a trip to the Netherlands, after which he published his best book, the Old masters (Les maîtres d'autrefois, 1876; Russian translation, 1913), where (under the influence "theory of environment" I. PETN) considered the work of Rembrandt and other masters in the background surrounding their historic landscapes, achieving a particularly soulful and impressionistic its scenic beauty judgments. Died Fromentin in Saint-Maurice (Savoie) on 27 August 1876.