Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

Explore an important collection of Victorian art and many other internationally renowned works

Signing the Register (oil on canvas) by Edmund Blair Leighton (1853-1922) / © Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK
Signing the Register (oil on canvas) by Edmund Blair Leighton (1853-1922) / © Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK

 

Bridgeman is delighted to have been chosen by Bristol Museum & Art Gallery as a licensing partner for their Fine Art collection.  

The collection spans Northern and Italian Renaissance painting, Baroque to modern French art, and British painting from the 17th century to the present day. It tells the story of art in Bristol and internationally and reflects the social and architectural history of the city and the changing landscape. 

Alongside the whole of their painting collection of about 1200 works, Bridgeman are in the process of cataloguing the Braikenridge Topographical Collection of drawings and watercolours showing the streets and buildings of Bristol during early-C19th.  See highlights of images available now for licensing and contact our sales team regarding accessing more images in our extensive offline archive.  

 

 

St.James's Fair, Bristol (detail) by Samuel Colman (1780-1845) / © Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK
St.James's Fair, Bristol (detail) by Samuel Colman (1780-1845) / © Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK

 

The Bristol School of Artists

The Bristol School of Artists is the name given to a coherent group of painters who made an original contribution to British art in the early 19th century. The artists worked here from about 1810 until 1840 but were at the height of their ability during the 1820s. Few of them were Bristol-born, or remained here throughout their careers, but their talent and friendship led to a distinctive style in landscape painting, scenes of contemporary life and dramatic imaginary subjects, often taken from the bible.

Francis Danby was the most important of them all and during his Bristol period encouraged his fellow artists to paint ‘poetical’ or romantic landscapes inspired by the local scenery.

In the 1810s, Edward Bird had enjoyed considerable success with genre scenes and showed that a provincial artist could achieve national recognition. He laid the foundations for Bristol’s other painters of contemporary life that included Samuel Colman and Rolinda Sharples

 

View of Avon Gorge, 1822 by Francis Danby (1793-1861) / © Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK
View of Avon Gorge, 1822 by Francis Danby (1793-1861) / © Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK

 

Victorian art
 
There are just a few Pre-Raphaelite paintings. Millais's literary work The Bride of Lammermoor (1878) and Burne-Jones The Return (1866), the last of a series of seven St George and the Dragon pictures.
 
The Classicists are represented by Alma Tadema's archetypical interpretation of ancient Rome with Unconcious Rivals (1893) and Leighton's seductive The Fisherman and the Syren (The Mermaid) (1857). A fascination with chivalry had lasted throughout the nineteenth century, typically combining romantic escapism with a cautionary note of the 'femme fatale'. Frank Dicksee's La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1902) is one of the very best paintings of this popular subject and sees a young knight transfixed by a lady on horseback.
 
A slightly later work is by the Newlyn artist Stanhope Forbes Home Along: Evening (1905)
 
British portraiture / Landscape painting 
 
British portraiture ranges from early examples by Robert Peake to Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds. Landscape is represented by Richard Wilson, Constable and Francis Danby.
 
 
20th century art
 
Modernism in Britain is represented by a range of artists from David Bomberg and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska to Barbara Hepworth, Victor Pasmore and Eric Ravilious.

 

The Fisherman and the Syren: From a Ballad by Goethe, 1857 by Frederic Leighton (1830-96) / © Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK
The Fisherman and the Syren: From a Ballad by Goethe, 1857 by Frederic Leighton (1830-96) / © Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK

 

 

Tennis, c.1932 (tempera on panel)/ Eric Ravilious(1903-42) / © Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK
Tennis, c.1932 (tempera on panel)/ Eric Ravilious(1903-42) / © Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, UK

 

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