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Frederick Arthur Bridgman (November 10, 1847 – January 13, 1928) was an American orientalist painter born in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Bridgman, the son of a South American doctor father, became one of the most famous and famous painters in America and a world-renowned orientalist painter. He began his career as a draftsman at the American Bank Note Company in New York from 1864-1865. In the same years, he continued his artistic studies at the Brooklyn Art Association and the National Academy of Design. He went to Paris in 1866 and became a student and right-hand man of Jean-Léon Gérôme. His trip to Egypt in 1873-74 inspired him about the 'East' and this trip took him to another point in Bridgman's painting career. Throughout his later life, Bridgman made ornate paintings with oriental details in his works. His work “The Funeral Procession of a Mummy on the Nile” was received by James Gordon Bennett at the Paris Salon in 1877 and was remembered as one of his most important works that brought him the Cross of Honor. Other paintings acquired by J. G. Bennet are An American Circus in Normandy, Procession of the Bull Apis (now at the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington) and Rumanian Lady (in the Temple Collection in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).
When Bridgman entered the studio in 1867, he was influenced by the delicate draughtsmanship and smooth lines of the academic-painter Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904), during which he worked particularly on Middle-Eastern-themed compositions. (In fact, Bridgman would be known as America's Gerome.) Although Bridgman was influenced by Gerome, he would catch a natural aesthetic harmony with his works, which he emphasized with masterful brushstrokes and bright colors, away from imitation.
Bridgman made his first North African trip between 1872 and 74, splitting his time between Algeria and Egypt. The approximately three hundred pencil drawings he collected there later became the material for several oil paintings. Bridgman, who made additional visits to the region during the 1870s and 80s, obtained permission to collect architectural pieces, objects, costumes and created a large collection. He frequently depicted these objects that make up his collection in his paintings.
Although Bridgman formed a lifelong bond with France, she never lost her popularity in America.
One of Bridgman's most famous Orientalist works, "A street scene in Algeria", is of great importance to his career and personal history, and is rare and exclusive. Many of the details in his works are motifs that can be considered his signature, and the subject can be considered from his travel records. In the 1880s, Bridgman focused on intimate, internal and local subjects in accordance with his personal painting trend, and did not hesitate to place two male figures, for example, sitting and chatting with each other, at the center of the composition.
Recently, the famous artist's works have been sold at auctions for between $250,000 and $350,000.