Lot 12
  • 12

Frederick Arthur Bridgman

70,000 - 90,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Frederick Arthur Bridgman
  • By the City Gate

  • signed F. A. Bridgman lower left
  • oil on canvas
  • 73 by 105cm., 28¾ by 41¼in.


Purchased by the family of the present owner in Australia circa 1935; thence by descent


St. Louis, Louisiana Purchase Exhibition, 1904 (as Caballeros en Plaza)

Catalogue Note

Ever since his first visit to North Africa in 1872, Algiers captivated Bridgman's imagination, and became his favourite destination during his travels in the region. During the 1880s he even put up his wife and family in the Hôtel de l'Orient in the Mustapha Supérieur quarter, and hired a guide, Belkassem, to find him an entrée into private houses in which, and from which, to watch and paint daily life. From Algiers he wrote home: 'Here we have all the advantages of civilisation with quite enough in the picture line for anybody.'

Bridgman received his training in the studio of the French academic and Orientalist painter Jean-Léon Gérôme. However, his later works such as the present display a freer technique, featuring more light and intense colour. In 1899 a critic wrote: 'Mr. Bridgman now paints with a freer, juicier brush than he used some years ago, he has got almost entirely away from Gérôme, his is no longer photographic, his colour [...] is often more ingeniously applied, and like so many of his fellows he is aiming for decorative effect' ('Gallery and Studio: Frederick A. Bridgman's Recent Pictures', Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 22 January 1899, p. 28, quoted in Ilene Susan Fort, Frederick Arthur Bridgman and the American Fascination with the Exotic Near East, vols. I and II, Ph.D. diss., City University of New York, 1990, p. 429).