Art Gallery Visit – The Snake Charmer

ImageEtienne Dinet

France 1861-1929

Titled: The snake Charmer 1889

This painting I found highlights the lengths the human spirit is able to “push beyond the limits of danger”. By overcoming danger in this case – the risk of a snake bite, people around are look up and see a hero who is able to conquer what no ordinary person could do. The painting captures this emotion where one being is able to conquer both fear and danger.

To the right of the painting shows a young boy in green outfit that has a gentle smile which show his admiration and sense of calm despite snacks being moving around the snake charmers head and hand. It’s as if all eyes on me as I bring possibly both entertainment and something super human like to be able to conversely share the same personal space of a snake.

The majority of people aren’t snake handlers especially people living in urban areas whereas they would normally freak out not having been out of the city or concrete jungle.

The painting also lends itself that to get this experience of seeing a snake charmer you would have to visit Algeria in the rural areas to fully appreciate the marvels of this snake charmer.

The colour tones give it a warm feeling where the emotions are welcoming as people are smiling and enjoying the occasion where two of the impossibilities in this case handling a snake with an ordinary man is almost impossible without a great sense of bravery and courage which not many people have. We can also see as the crowd are distanced back as there is a sense of danger in this case the risk of a snake bite. Also of interests are the mountains behind where the landscape is open and rituals like these help bring communities together.


One comment

  1. Etienne Dinet studied at the Académie Julian under T. Robert-Fleury and W.A. Bouguereau. He began to exhibit at the Salon in 1882 with portraits and religious subjects, until a trip to Algeria in 1884 instilled in him a lifelong fascination and admiration for the Algerian people and their culture. For the next twenty years he divided his time between France and Algeria before finally moving to Bou-Saada in 1904.

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