Fidelia Bridges (May 19, 1834-May 14, 1923) was a Pre-Raphaelite artist whose specialty was watercolors. Born in Salem, Massachusetts, she was orphaned at age 15 and was forced to make her own way in life after choosing not to join her sisters' idea of starting a school. She began painting while recovering from an illness and never looked back. To make ends meet she was a mother's helper/governess for a number of families including that of Mark Twain, and she studied under William Trost Richards at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, forming a friendship with the Richards family that would last the rest of her life. She was a designer for Louis Prang's firm, with commissions for paintings for Christmas cards and books of poetry. Her paintings can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution, among others.
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A book about her is currently being written by art historian Katherine Manthorne, to be released in early 2023, on the 100th anniversary of Fidelia's death.
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