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Frederick Arthur Bridgman (american, 1847-1928)

"Frederick Arthur Bridgman (american, 1847-1928)"
Frederick Arthur Bridgman (American, 1847-1928)
De quoi parlent les jeunes filles (Concerning what the young women are talking about), circa 1870

Oil on canvas
39 x 31 inches (99.1 x 78.7 cm)
Signed and inscribed lower right: F.A. Bridgman / Paris
PROVENANCE: Sotheby's, New York, n.d.; Private collection, New Jersey.
EXHIBITED: Académie des Beaux-Arts, Salon de Paris, 1870.

Born inTuskegee, Alabama, Bridgman was the son of a physician. He began as adraughtsmaninNew York City, for theAmerican Bank Note Companyin 1864–65, and studied art in the same years at theBrooklyn Art Associationand at theNational Academy of Design.He went toParisin 1866, and in 1867 he entered the studio of the notedacademicpainterJean-Léon Gérôme(1824–1904), where he was deeply influenced by Gérôme's precise draftsmanship, smooth finishes, and concern for Middle-Eastern themes. Thereafter, Paris became his headquarters. In 1874, he was elected into theNational Academy of Designas an Associate member, and became a full member in 1881.

Bridgman made his first trip to North Africa between 1872 and 1874, dividing his time betweenMorocco,Tunisia,AlgeriaandEgypt. There he executed approximately three hundred sketches, which became the source material for several later oil paintings that attracted immediate attention. Bridgman became known as "the American Gérôme", although Bridgman would later adopt a more naturalistic aesthetic, emphasizing bright colors and painterly brushwork.

His large and important composition,The funeral rites of a mummy on the Nile(1876–77; Speed Art Museum, Louisville), exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1877 and Royal Academy of Arts in 1881, bought byJames Gordon Bennett, Jr., brought him theCross of the Legion of Honor.The painting was later purchased by the famous American collector Wendell Cherry who donated it to theSpeed Art Museumin Louisville, Kentucky in 1990.
Additional visits to the region throughout the 1870s and 1880s allowed him to amass a collection of costumes, architectural pieces, and objets d'art, which often appear in his paintings.John Singer Sargentnoted that Bridgman's overstuffed studio, along with theEiffel Tower, were Paris's must-see attractions. Though Bridgman maintained a lifelong connection to France, his popularity in America never waned. Indeed, in 1890, the artist had a one-man show of over 400 pictures in New York's 5th Avenue galleries. When the show moved toChicago's Art Institute, it contained only 300 works – testimony to the high number of sales Bridgman had made.
Price : $95,000
Artist : Frederick Arthur Bridgman (american, 1847-1928)
Period: 19th century
Style: Other Style
Origin: France
Material : Oil on canvas
Condition : Good condition
Width : 31
Height : 39

Reference : 1850
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