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Benjamin Netter was born on 23 March 1811 in Strasbourg, from Léopold Netter, owner of a cabaret, and Therese Beck. He was 6 or 7 when his family moved from Strasbourg to Paris. Pupil of Léon Cogniet at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, "he shows a great taste for romantic scenes, tormented landscapes, shadowed caves and ominous twilights" (G.Schurr). He exhibited regularly at the prestigious Salon of the Academy of Painting of Paris from 1842 to 1881. For his origins, he agreed to exhibit in 1866 to the Society of Friends of the Arts of Strasbourg.

His work is almost exclusively landscapes, especially mountain landscapes. To find inspiration, he traveled mainly to Italy and Switzerland. His paintings have enjoyed great success abroad and have been particularly popular with German and American collectors.

Benjamin Netter died on November 30, 1889 in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, 34 avenue de Saint-Mandé, at his home.