On the Road to Biskra
By Frederic Bridgman
This view of Arab travelers with a camel in the desert was one of several Near Eastern scenes acquired by Frederick and Julia Billings. As collectors of such views, the Billings apparently preferred small figure studies and landscapes of restrained character like this one. They lacked the sensuality or anecdotal narrative often associated with the most fashionable exotic scenes. Biskra is a town in modern-day Algeria.
Frederic Bridgman was an American, who studied at the Brooklyn Art School and at the National Academy of Design, then under Gèrome in Paris. After finishing his training he established a studio in Paris, and returned occasionally to New York. He was best known for his figures, oriental and archaeological scenes. He became a member of the National Academy in 1881.
Oil, canvas. 51x69 cm
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, MABI 1749