Benjamin Eugene Fichel
Benjamin Eugene Fichel was a genre painter who was born in Paris on 30 August 1826. Showing an early talent, he entered the École des Beaux-Arts at the age of 15, eventually studying under Paul Delaroche and Martin Drolling. In 1849, he made his debut at the Paris Salon becoming a regular and prolific exhibitor, initially with portraits but later with historical and genre scenes which were to become his trademark. As his career progressed, his works developed into more intimate genre scenes influenced by the Dutch painters and artists such as Ernest Meissonier. He achieved 3rd class medals in 1857, 1861 and 1869 at the Salon and in 1870, was awarded the Legion of Honour. Fichel’s works are highly detailed and richly coloured with flawlessly executed figures. His keen observation and great attention to detail allowed him to produce works of outstanding quality and precision, often on a smaller scale, as in this fine example. A number of his paintings can be found in many museums across Europe including the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon, Lille, Rennes, Bordeaux and Rouen as well as the Musée Magnin.