Fine art at the movies

Fine art at the movies

We highlight images from the Bridgeman archive that have been licensed for several 2014-15 blockbusters and award-winners, used for set dressing and more

1. Cinderella (March 2015)

This was a big, $95 million (£64 million) production for Disney. Kenneth Branagh sets his version in the early 19th century and mostly sticks to the story depicted in the cartoon, that itself draws much from the classic version of the fairy tale published in 1697 by French author Charles Perrault. 

Left: Madame de Pompadour, 1759 by Francis Boucher (1703-70) / © Wallace Collection, London, UK Right: Equestrian Portrait of Joachim Murat (1767-1815) 1812 by Baron Antoine Jean Gros/ Louvre, Paris, France
Left: Madame de Pompadour, 1759 by Francis Boucher (1703-70) /
© Wallace Collection, London, UK
Right: Equestrian Portrait of Joachim Murat (1767-1815) 1812 by Baron Antoine Jean Gros/ Louvre, Paris, France

The ballroom set was 30 feet high and built on the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios. Over 60 Bridgeman images were licensed for Cinderella, blown up to 8ft high in the ballroom and other palace scenes to be used a set dressing. Bridgeman’s scanning team were utilised to ensure every image was picture perfect for the blockbuster film.

Production designer Dante Ferretti, a triple Oscar winner, based his design on some of Europe’s grandest buildings, including the Louvre which have grand staircases. 

“The characters live amid locations that were built centuries before the setting in which the film takes place, and I was particularly drawn to the magical, opulent feel of the baroque period. I set out to create a world that is based in historical realism but mixed with fantasy, as I wanted the atmosphere to be both believable and fantastic at the same time,” said Ferretti.


2. Tulip Fever (2015. Release date TBC)

Tulip Fever has recently been completed and will star Dame Judi Dench.

Left: Red and yellow tulip, from 'Hortus Eystettensis', by Basil Besler, pub. 1613 (hand coloured engraving), German School Right: Merry Company, 1630 by Judith Leyster (1600-60) / Louvre, Paris, France / Giraudon
Left: Red and yellow tulip, from ‘Hortus Eystettensis’, by Basil Besler, pub. 1613
Right: Merry Company, 1630 by Judith Leyster (1600-60) / Louvre, Paris, France / Giraudon

For this 17th century historical romance set in Amsterdam, reproductions of Dutch paintings; including portraits, still lifes, landscapes and tapestry panels are featured in the film as set dressing. 

Ruby Films‘ Alison Owen (Saving Mr Banks) produced the project with Harvey Weinstein (The Weinstein Company). It is due to be released in 2016.

View over 80 Bridgeman images licensed for Tulip Fever

3. Night at the Museum (December 2014)

Photo credit: Kerry Brown, Twentieth Century Fox Films Corporation
Photo credit: Kerry Brown, Twentieth Century Fox Films Corporation

Fox US Productions Inc. licensed seven high-resolution digital images of oriental and medieval manuscripts from Bridgeman. The images were printed to life size scale for the set dressing of scenes set in the galleries of London’s Natural History Museum, where the bulk of the movie takes place.

Appropriately fitting to the movie’s location, several of the manuscript images licensed were supplied by the British Library collection

Left: Representations of Medicinal Plants / © British Library Board Right: Summer Reverie by the Lotus Pond / Qiu Ying / Photo © Christie's
Left: Representations of Medicinal Plants / © British Library Board
Right: Summer Reverie by the Lotus Pond / Qiu Ying / Photo © Christie’s

4. Paddington Bear (November 2014)paddington-movie-judys-bedroom-600x250

Having been the subject of countless books and TV episodes, Paddington Bear arrived on the big screen courtesy of Marmalade Films.

The interior of the Brown’s family house was built on a set at Elstree Studios. The aim was to create ‘a heightened reality,’ says production designer Gary Williamson — a place where a talking bear would feel right at home.” In the film daughter Judy’s bedroom has a wall covered in photos and magazine clippings, of which Bridgeman supplied images for.

View images licensed for Paddington Bear

5.  Mr.Turner (October 2014)

Click to watch official trailer for Mr. Turner
Click to watch official trailer for Mr. Turner

Mike Leigh’s film ‘Mr. Turner’ explores the last quarter century of British artist J.M.W Turner’s life.

In reconstructing each of Turner’s environments Thin Man Films aimed to be as accurate as possible and so, for the Royal Academy scene, this involved reproducing works that would have been there. 

Left: Helvoetsluys; - the City of Utrecht, 64, Going to Sea, 1832 by J.M.W.Turner/ © Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan Right: The Grosvenor Family by Charles Robert Leslie (1794-1859)/ Private Collection
Left: Helvoetsluys; – the City of Utrecht, 64, Going to Sea, 1832 by J.M.W.Turner/ © Tokyo Fuji Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Right: The Grosvenor Family by Charles Robert Leslie (1794-1859)/ Private Collection

One of the famous anecdotes about Turner presented on film is the incident at the 1832 Royal Academy Exhibition in which Turner’s varnishing day antics led to a clash with John Constable, whose painting was hung next to Turner’s ‘Helvoetsluys; – the City of Utrecht‘. 

Turner’s last minute addition of a red ‘blob’ of paint onto his seascape – which he then fashioned into a buoy – was deemed to show up Constable’s work as overblown and over-painted.

Bridgeman provided a high resolution digital image of the picture which their art department printed onto canvas at actual size and framed. Bridgeman also provided worldwide rights to reproduce The Grosvenor Family by Charles Robert Leslie which is in the main room of the Royal Academy scene.

6. Effie Gray (October 2014)

Effie Gray is based on a true story of Victorian high society, scandal and unconsummated marriage.

Dakota Fanning plays Effie Gray, the woman who left art critic John Ruskin for painter John Everett Millais after establishing her husband was “disgusted with my person” while Emma Thompson plays her friend and confidante Lady Eastlake.

Left: Mariana in the Moated Grange, 1851 by Sir John Everett Millais / © The Makins Collection Right: Waiting, 1854 by Sir John Everett Millais / Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery
Left: Mariana in the Moated Grange, 1851 by Sir John Everett Millais / © The Makins Collection
Right: Waiting, 1854 by Sir John Everett Millais / Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

Within the film reproductions of paintings by Pre-Raphaelite artist  John Everett Millais were used for the set dressing, some of which mirror the lonely existence of Effie’s early marriage to Ruskin.

View images licensed for Effie Gray

7. The Monuments Men (February 2014)


This thrilling war movie, directed by and starring George Clooney, tracks the attempts of the members of the MFAA platoon as they try to stem Hitler’s systematic plundering of art throughout Europe during World War II. Bridgeman supplied images for the set design and the film’s publicity tour.

In the Winter Garden, 1878/79 (oil on canvas), Edouard Manet (1832-83) / Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
In the Winter Garden, 1878/79 (oil on canvas), Edouard Manet (1832-83) / Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin

Iconic paintings rescued by the Monuments Men and featured in the film include Manet’s In the Winter Garden (1878/9), hidden in the Merkers Salt Mines, and the Ghent Altarpiece by Jan and Hubert van Eyck, one of thousands of works recovered in the Altaussee Salt Mines in Bavaria at the end of WWII. 

The Incredulity of St. Thomas, 1602-03 (oil on canvas), Caravaggio (1571-1610) / Schloss Sanssouci, Germany
The Incredulity of St. Thomas, 1602-03 (oil on canvas), Caravaggio (1571-1610) / Schloss Sanssouci, Germany

The real Monuments Men were a group 345 men and women from 13 different countries, joining together to protect cultural treasures in areas affected by WWII. They located and returned over 5 million cultural items stolen by Hitler and the Nazis. The film is based on the book of the same name by Robert Edsel.

View images licensed for The Monuments Men set and publicity tour.

8. The Wolf of Wall Street (January 2014)

Works by Bridgeman Studio Artists Timothy Easton, Lincoln Seligman and Alexander Goudie were licensed for the set design of Jordan Belfort’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) summer house in the Hamptons.

SEL135448 Umbrellas, Greece, 1995 (acrylic on paper) by Lincoln Seligman,
SEL135448 Umbrellas, Greece, 1995 (acrylic on paper) by Lincoln Seligman,

The movie, directed by Martin Scorsese, is based on the true life story of Belfort’s meteoric rise and fall as a wheeling, dealing New York City stockbroker. 

View images licensed for Wolf of Wall Street

Beach Strollers (oil on canvas) by Timothy Easton, Private Collection
Beach Strollers (oil on canvas) by Timothy Easton, Private Collection

9. Tim’s Vermeer (May 2014)

In this Oscar-shortlisted documentary, inventor Tim Jenison aims to put together “an alternate history” of Jan Vermeer by exploring how the 17th century master painted in such a photorealistic style.

The Artist's Studio, c.1665-66 (oil on canvas) by Vermeer, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
The Artist’s Studio, c.1665-66 (oil on canvas) by Vermeer, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

Directed and produced by Penn & Teller, the film spans over 8 years as Jenison tries to recreate the magic that makes Vermeer one of our favourite artists of all times.

View images licensed for Tim’s Vermeer
Find out more

Release dates specified are UK unless otherwise specified.

Contact the Bridgeman team via our offices in New York, London, Paris and Berlin for any image licensing enquiries.

Images in Action – see more Bridgeman images on products, book covers and TV.

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