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Etienne Dinet’s painting of young girls looking out into the distance – €310,000 (£281,820) at Drouot Estimations.

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The 2ft 8in x 2ft 1in (81.5 x 65cm) signed oil on lined canvas depicting a group of young girls looking into the distance ended up selling for €310,000 (£281,820) against a €150,000-200,000 estimate in a sale of Modern Art and Orientalist painting on June 26.

Dinet trained in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the Académie Julien but increasingly spent more time in Algeria and converted to Islam in later life.

More Dinet

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Etienne Dinet’s oil on canvas sold for €126,000 (£114,545) at Millon on July 21.

Works by him also featured in the Antiquities and Orientalist art auction held the following month by Millon (30% buyer’s premium inc VAT) on July 21.

One of these, a 3ft 2in x 2ft 6in (97 x 78cm) oil on canvas depicting a man and woman in a palm grove, signed in Arabic and French, was pursued well past its €60,000- 80,000 guide to take €126,000 (£114,545).

Massive street scene

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Alexandre Roubtzoff’s view of the main street in Tunis in 1918 – €215,000 (£195,455) at Millon on July 21.

The highest price in this auction, however, was accorded to a massive painting by another Orientalist artist: Alexandre Roubtzoff (1844-1949).

He was born in St Petersburg but left his native country aged 30, first visited Tunisia in 1918 and ended up living there permanently.

The fresco-like work, painted in three parts in mixed media on canvas, measures no less than 5ft x 10ft 6in (1.52 x 3.2m). Its subject is the crowded main street in Tunis, the Avenue Jules Ferry, in 1918 and it depicts the tree-lined road with a cosmopolitan mix of people varying in nationalities and age.

The work is signed in Arabic lower left, in French lower right and titled and dated Avenue Jules Ferry, Tunis, 1918 in the centre of the canvas. The painting had been in a French private collection, passed down by descent. It sold just over the upper end of its €150,000-200,000 estimate for €215,000 (£195,455).