Stella's Pics & Clips

From footage of 19th century acrobatics, to majestic paintings of zebra and doges, and the photography of Tony Vaccaro. Here are Marketing Executive Stella Calvert-Smith's favorite pics and clips from the archive

1. What is your role at Bridgeman?

I am part of the Bridgeman marketing team. We try to think up fun and interesting ways to showcase the archive's amazing collections. The challenge is to convey the variety of content - from ancient artefacts to footage, and fine art to beautiful photography.


2. What do you love most about the job?

I love the creative elements of the job - it makes each day exciting. I love the variety - I might be doing a piece on atomic footage one day then a story on WW1 the next. It’s also great to work with an interesting and smart bunch of people who are passionate about what they do. Conversations are never dull at Bridgeman.


3. What misconceptions do clients most commonly have about the archive?

I think the main misconception is that we are just a fine art archive. While fine art is still our strongest area, we have expanded a lot over the years. We also have great photography and a fascinating footage collection. I think some people may see Bridgeman as a very serious establishment, but it really is not at all. Its an extremely warm and friendly place to be - people certainly know their stuff, but they also know how to have fun!


Stella Calvert-Smith's favourite images and clips in the archive are...


Stella Calvert-Smith, Marketing Executive








Luis Martinetti, circus acrobat on hanging rings - early Edison film, 1894 / Bridgeman Images





Edison film of a circus acrobat, 1894

This is a mesmerising experimental film made by the Edison Manufacturing Company. Although it was created as a technical experiment, I think it’s a beautiful piece of art on its own. The movement of the acrobat and the costume work perfectly together, creating amazing shapes.

We have a number of Edison’s very early experimental films which seem to be un-staged and give a wonderful glimpse in to the past.



Zebra by George Stubbs

George Stubbs (25 August 1724 – 10 July 1806) was a renowned equestrian painter. This painting by him gives me an immense sense of calm and has a wonderful dream-like quality to it. I love the juxtaposition of the exotic black and white stripes of the zebra against the green English forest. The animal has been rendered by Stubbs so beautifully, you feel like you could almost reach out a stroke its fur.



A Zebra, 1763 (oil on canvas), George Stubbs (1724-1806) / Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, USA / Bridgeman Images




Leonardo Loredan (1436-1521) Doge of Venice from 1501-21, c.1501 (oil on panel), Giovanni Bellini (c.1430-1516) / National Gallery, London, UK / Bridgeman Images



Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430 – 26 November 1516)

I have been a fan of the work of Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430 – 26 November 1516) since I studied Art History at school. His paintings are luminous - lit by their own golden light. This portrait (which hangs in the National Gallery, London) is one of the most beautiful portraits I have seen. Much like Stubb's zebra, this portrait has a sumptuously tactile quality. The material of the doge's official robes are so realistic you want to reach out and touch them.

Unlike other styles of portraiture this official portrait does not delve deep in to the sitter's sole, but there is a complete sense of composure and calm in the doge's face which translates to the viewer.



Bridgeman Studio artist Eliza Southwood

Since starting at Bridgeman I have enjoyed getting to know the work of the Bridgeman Studio artists, the standard of which is very high. I really love the work of Eliza Southwood. Its simplicity and graphic quality reminds me of iconic 1930s travel posters - it is a style that appeals to me.


Planting Trees, Southwood, Eliza / Private Collection /
Bridgeman Images



A contortionist or yogi from the Bombay Theatre of Varieties at the India and Ceylon Exhibition, London / British Library, London, UK / © British Library Board. All Rights Reserved / Bridgeman Images




The British Library collection (and yoga!)

The British Library collection is really incredible, and we are thrilled to represent their material exclusively. There is so much great imagery to choose from, but I have gone for this portrait of what I believe to be a yogi from India,

I am a practioner of yoga myself , but I think I have a way to go yet before I can execute this mind boggling move... I have also been a frequent traveller to India which is an amazing country - full of mind boggling sights (good and  bad).



The photography of Tony Vaccaro

I was lucky enough to meet the wonderful photographer Tony Vaccaro a couple of years ago. He has lived an amazing life and is full of fascinating stories from his time as a soldier in World War 2, to his encounters with some of the most iconic film stars and artists of the 20th century while working as a photographer for eminent magazines such as Life. His work is often powerful and moving - particularly the photographs he took while he served during the war. The photograph on the right is one of his fashion photographs. I love sense of period you get from the image, and wonderful use of colour and composition.

Carmen - Green and Red (photo) , Tony Vaccaro (b.1922) / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images


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