Born in Paris in 1861 to a middle class family, Alphonse Dinet became a painter and writer, who devoted much time to Algerian and Orientalist subjects. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and in 1884, earned recognition from the Palais de l’Industrie, which led to a five year scholarship to Algeria. Upon his return in 1889 to Paris, he exhibited paintings from Algeria, which earned him a Silver Medal at the Salon.
In 1905, he returned to Algeria, and settled in Bou-Saada for the remainder of his life. There he traveled extensively in the desert and became familiar with the tribes and nomadic Bedouins. In 1913, he converted to Islam and took the name Nasreddine Dinet. He had a paint shop with that name, located at the edge of the Qued Bou-Saada.
In 1929, he made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and on December 24th was in Paris, where he died.