Lot 24
  • 24

FREDERICK ARTHUR BRIDGMAN | Street in Algeria

Estimate
200,000 - 300,000 GBP
Sold
bidding is closed

Description

  • Frederick Arthur Bridgman
  • Street in Algeria
  • signed and dated F. A. Bridgman / 1882 lower left
  • oil on canvas
  • 87 by 137cm., 34¼ by 54in.

Provenance

T. A. Wilmurt, New York
Minerva Hamilton Hoyt, South Pasadena, California (Hoyt, 1866-1945, was a socialite and conservator of the Californian desert); thence by descent (sale: John Moran, Pasadena, 17 April 2012, lot 19)

Exhibited

New York, National Academy of Design, Special Autumn Exhibition, 1882, no. 172 (as The Mosque Fountain)

Literature

Dumas' Art Annual, An Illustrated Record of the Exhibitions of the World, New York, 1882, p. 47 (an etching of the present work illustrated, as The Mosque Fountain)

Catalogue Note

No sooner had I set foot on land than I began with joy to sniff the odors so peculiar to Oriental towns – perfumes of musk, tobacco, orange-blossoms, coffee, hashish – a subtle combination which impregnates Algerine clothing and hovers about the shops and bazaars
(Frederick Arthur Bridgman, 'Winters in Algeria', in Harper’s Monthly Magazine)
 
 

Street in Algeria amply demonstrates Frederick Arthur Bridgman’s first-hand knowledge of North African life, and the proto-cinematic, highly finished compositions he painted at the height of his career. The work conveys a mood of quiet contemplation, as a rider takes a refreshing drink while conversing in the street, the woman next to him wearing a colourful gandoura dress. High above in the background, warm evening sun falls on the pale walls, possibly those of the Casbah in Algiers. Street scenes of this type complement the intimate interiors Bridgman also made his name for, such as An Interior in Biskra (sold in these rooms in 2018 (fig. 1)). 

At an early stage, Bridgman’s artistic ambitions took him from New York to the artists’ colony in Pont-Aven in Brittany. Thanks to the assistance of fellow artist Thomas Eakins, Bridgman shortly found himself in the enviable position of studying under Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Bridgman became one of Gérôme’s best pupils, absorbing his master’s technical precision and interest in the Islamic world.
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