Study of a Young Girl, Pont Aven

  • Frederic Arthur Bridgman, Study of a Young Girl, Pont Aven, 1869, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1977.113

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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.

Study of a Young Girl, Pont Aven
25 5/8 x 21 5/8 in. (65.2 x 54.8 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Study
  • Ethnic – French
Object Number
Linked Open Data
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