The Armenian signed and dated 'FAB 1878' (lower right) oil on board 22.86 x 13.97cm (9 x 5 1/2in). Painted in 1878.
The Armenian diaspora of the 19th Century held prominent positions in the Ottoman Empire and could be distinguished from natives by their dress and features. Bridgman would have encountered many Armenians in Cairo and Constantinople, especially because their influence in both cities was large comparable to the size of their population. In fact, in Constantinople for example, it was required that postage and government ballots be written in both Armenian and Turkish to accomodate the weighty population.
The present lot is a small and lovely finished sketch of an Armenian that most likely posed for Bridgman. A similarly dressed Armenian can be found in one of Bridgman's most notable works Almeh Flirting with an Armenian Policeman, Cairo, seen below.
For further information on the artist, see lot 110.
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