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Study of a Young Girl, Pont Aven

1869 Frederic Arthur Bridgman Born: Tuskegee, Alabama 1847 Died: Rouen, France 1928 oil on canvas 25 5/8 x 21 5/8 in. (65.2 x 54.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1977.113 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 10B


Luce Center Label

Frederick Arthur Bridgman created this painting in 1869 while living at an artists’ colony in Pont-Aven, Brittany. He was still a student at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and this was the first year that he succeeded in exhibiting work at the prestigious Paris Salon. Many artists spent time at Pont-Aven during the nineteenth century, looking for a “primitive” experience that was very different from modern life in Paris. Bridgman and his fellow artists passed their days painting from models such as this young peasant girl. Bright light illuminates the girl’s cheek, nose, and dress, but the long lock of dark hair casts most of her face into shadow. She looks down, intent on winding the ribbon around her hair and apparently oblivious to the presence of the painter. Bridgman’s warm colors and sensitive brushstrokes capture the innocence of a girl not yet old enough to “put up” her hair as grown women would do.

Keywords

Ethnic - French

Figure female - child - waist length

Study

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Frederic Arthur Bridgman

Born: Tuskegee, Alabama 1847 Died: Rouen, France 1928

More works in the collection by
Frederic Arthur Bridgman