Frederick Arthur Bridgman
Bridgman is perhaps best known as the leading American painter of Oriental scenes. Originally from Tuskegee, Alabama, Bridgman studied at the NAD before travelling to Paris in 1866 to study under Gérôme. He became closely involved with the emerging Pont-Aven school and started exhibiting his Breton scenes at the Paris Salon. His style and inspiration was to change in 1873 after a trip to Egypt. He began painting North African scenes in a manner not dissimilar to his old master Gérôme. Bridgman brought greater freedom of touch and interest in light to paintings of this type, so much so that during a period in the 1870’s and 1880’s he was considered greater than his master. To this day he is regarded by many as the finest American expatriate artist of that time. Whilst our picture is rare in his output for not being of a North African theme, it shows the same dexterity that marked Bridgman apart from the dry academic style of his peers.