Frederic Arthur Bridgman
A Brittany Landscape
Northern Europe, French
27 3/4 in. x 44 in. (70.49 cm x 111.76 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase with an additional generous gift of Mary Katherine A. Blount
"A Brittany Landscape" has its source in Bridgman’s study in rural France, specifically in the coastal areas of Brittany and Normandy. He arrived in France in 1866, and he returned to Brittany each summer for five years, for a time making his home in the area.
Bridgman is better known for his later Orientalist paintings that include landscape elements bathed in the strong, bright sunlight characteristic of Mediterranean climates. By contrast, this earlier pure landscape focuses specifically on the bleak, rocky expanses of Brittany. This type of scene, popularized by the French Realists at mid-century, addressed the nostalgia for the vanishing, simpler ways of life in the French countryside, particularly in areas with strong regional traditions, such as Brittany.
American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2006, cat. no. 19, p. 70.