Frederick Arthur Bridgman, 1847 – 1928, AMERICAN
WOMEN OF BLIDAH ON THE DAY OF THE PROPHET, c. 1900
Oil on canvas
66 by 54.5cm., 26 by 21½in.
The Day of the Prophet, known as Mawlid, is celebrated on either the twelfth or seventeenth day of Rabia al Awal, the third month of the Muslim calendar, roughly coinciding with January. Mawlid also provided a framework for female involvement. Women often participated in the celebrations outside the mosque rituals. The present work shows a congregation of women dressed in their ritual drapery. It was painted a year after Bridgman’s larger work of the same subject, depicting Algerian women burning candles in the cemetry of Oued El-Kebir outside Blidah, in Algeria. More on The Day of the Prophet
Blidah , today Blida, is the name of a city in Algeria. It is the capital of the province of the same name and is also called Ville des Roses (“City of Roses”).
The city is located about 40 km south of the Algerian capital Algiers in a valley of Tellatlas. The coast of the Mediterranean is about 30 km away. In 1838 , Blidah was captured by French troops who set up a garrison there. In 1825 and 1867 , the city was destroyed by earthquakes. Today there is a university ( Université Saad Dahlab Blida ). More on Blidah
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