Alphonse Etienne Dene was born in Paris in 1861 AD and was the son of a prominent judge. He went to Art school in Algeria in 1884 AD, where he made Muslim friends and felll in love with the Arabic language and Arab traditions. After several trips to Algeria, he decided to settle in BouSaada. In 1913, he converted to Islam and changed his name to Nasreddine. This caused uproar among the French artistic circles and he was accused of treason. He performed Hajj in 1929 and became known as Hajj Nasreddine.