Toby's Pics

From Bruegel to Giacometti, here are our UK Sales Director's favourites from the archive​​


What is your role at Bridgeman?

I lead the UK sales team and have a global role developing our business with educational publishers. 


What do you love most about the job?

Arriving here, I’m impressed by the artistic bent of the team, their curatorial passion. Combine that with the entrepreneurial hustle Harriet Bridgeman showed setting up the business and Victoria Bridgeman has carried through to the present day, and you have a company whose capabilities surprise and enchant.  

What misconceptions do clients most commonly have about the archive?

What I’ve been impressed by is how different clients will drill down into different areas of the archive depending on their needs: TV producers hunting out archive footage and stills; historical publishers pulling on arcane illustrations; interior designers leafing through the catalogue of contemporary Studio artists; publishers of fine art prints exploring how we can unlock copyright issues on modern masters.   


Toby Hopkins, UK Sales Director







The Goodwin Sands, 1874 (oil on canvas), Charles William Wyllie (1853-1923) / Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, UK


Charles William Wyllie  – The Goodwin Sands, 1874​

I happened to have a conversation about Wylie at the time I was interviewing. “Oh, they’ll have lots of Charles Wylie prints at Bridgeman,” a relative said, and he was right. There’s no doubt Wylie was eulogising British seapower in the age of Empire, but I love the way his ships look impermanent, almost permeable, dwarfed by the power of sea and sky.  






Alberto Giacometti  – Black Annette, 1962​​

Seeing Giacometti’s late paintings at the Tate exhibition was a real eye-opener. Giacometti is represented by Bridgeman’s not-for-profit sister company ACS. 


Black Annette, 1962 (oil on canvas), Alberto Giacometti (1901-66) / Collection Fondation Alberto & Annette Giacometti / © The Estate of Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris and ADAGP, Paris)



The Industrial Revolution, Ronald (Ron) Lampitt (1906-88) / Private Collection / © Look and Learn






Look and Learn – The Industrial Revolution

We have a wealth of contemporary and C20th illustrations of historical subjects. The English Heritage scenes of ancient landscapes, for example, familiar from noticeboards at historic sites around the country. But my favourites are from the Look and Learn collection. It was a magazine I read as a child, usually skipping past the factual articles to the comic strips. The visualisations of history, culture, human endeavour and the world about us launch one into different worlds. 




The Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants​, 1946 

I came into the licensing business through working with archive photography, captivated by the stories the images told.   Bridgeman Images’ photographic collections do not disappoint. Many of the photographers covered film, celebrity and entertainment, others covered reportage subjects. Andre Limot worked in both areas. This is one of his images of the OSE, the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants, which looked after Jewish children in France before, during and after WW2. 






Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE) 1946 / Photo © Limot


May day marches, Lenin addresses crowd, Moscow, May 25, 1919






May day marches, Lenin addresses crowd, Moscow, May 25, 1919​

Footage gives an immediacy to the past. This segment from Petrograd in 1919 suggests to me that Lenin was a ball of energy, and that the revolution was an ad hoc seat-of-the-pants affair.    You can see how the regime goes on from this to ossify into the great march-pasts of Kremlin military parades in later years.








Battle between Carnival, or Mardi Gras, and Lent – Bruegel

Bruegel’s Battle between Carnival and Lent was licensed by a member of the team soon after I arrived. As a design for clothing. This sums up Bridgeman Images for me: the outstanding quality of the artwork, the enterprise of our team to get the images out into the world and the ingenuity of our clients in putting the images to work.  


Battle between Carnival, or Mardi Gras, and Lent, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1559, 16th Century, oil on board, 118 x 164,5 cm,  Pieter Bruegel the Elder  (c.1525-69) / Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria / Mondadori Portfolio/Electa/Remo Bardazzi



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