Egyptian Street Scene


James David Smillie etched Frederick Arthur Bridgman’s painting of a Middle Eastern street scene Lady of Cairo Visiting for the American Art Review issue of June 1881. Commenting on the issue, the New York Times noted that Smillie had been “particularly happy in his drawing” of the donkey, which appears prominently in the print.

A catalogue raisonné of Smillie’s prints has estimated that about 10,000 impressions of this scene were made, primarily for use as art magazine illustrations. To produce such a large number of prints from a copper plate, a soft metal that deteriorates with use, the publishers would have had to face the copper by electroplating. In this process (known as “steel facing”), a thin layer of iron is deposited on the copper plate.

Frederick Arthur Bridgman (1847–1928) trained with Jean-Léon Gérôme in Paris and later was known as “the American Gérôme.” He made a number of trips from his Paris base to North Africa and Egypt to sketch and collect artifacts for his paintings of Egyptian and Algerian subjects.

Date Made: 1881

Original Artist: Bridgman, Frederick ArthurGraphic Artist: Smillie, James David

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: New York, New York City

See more items in: Work and Industry: Graphic Arts, Ferris Collection, Communications, Art


Exhibition Location:

Related Publication: Brucia Witthoft. The Fine-Arts Etchings of James David Smillie 1833-1909

Credit Line: Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: GA.14802Catalog Number: 14802Accession Number: 94830

Object Name: print

Physical Description: paper (overall material)ink (overall material)Measurements: image: 19.5 cm x 16 cm; 7 11/16 in x 6 5/16 inplate: 24 cm x 20 cm; 9 7/16 in x 7 7/8 insheet: 28 cm x 23.5 cm; 11 in x 9 1/4 in


Record Id: nmah_1002329

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