Giovanni's Pics

Picture Researcher Giovanni Forti shares his top pics and clips from the archive.


Research Team Member Giovanni Forti


What is your role at Bridgeman?
I'm based in our London office and I started my current role in March 2020. Besides sourcing images from our collection, I perform picture research on our partners' websites. Ingesting and cataloguing new images is also part of my duties.
What do you love most about the job?
I really like working on creative briefs, particularly when book covers are involved. This allows me to be creative and make an effort to think out of the box. Another very pleasant aspect of my job is the constant urge to learn more about a variety of topics including art, history and literature.
What misconceptions do people have about the archive?

I think people are sometimes not fully aware that Bridgeman is much more than fine art images. Furthermore, they often don’t know that our relationship with museums and collections means that we have access to content that is not online on our website.



The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and the Infant Saint John the Baptist, Leonardo da Vinci


The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and the Infant Saint John the Baptist, c.1499-1500
(charcoal heightened with white chalk on paper), Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
/ National Gallery, London, UK / Bridgeman Images


One of the reasons why I like living in London is that I can have a look at The Burlington House Cartoon whenever I want to. Although I have seen it countless times, I still can’t make up my mind about which among the four figures is my favourite in terms of beauty and intensity. I am currently between Saint Anne and John the Baptist, but this might change the next time I’ll be standing in front of this masterpiece. At the end of the day, perhaps I should give up this futile exercise and simply enjoy contemplating it…



Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, Umberto Boccioni


Unique Forms of Continuity in Space 1913 (1931), 20th Century,
bronze, 112 x 40 x 90 cm, Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916) / Museo del Novecento,
Milan, Italy / Mondadori Portfolio/Electa/Luca Carrà / Bridgeman Images


Unique Forms of Continuity in Space is one of my favourite sculptures ever. I discovered it during my university years and since then this artwork has always fascinated me for the way it captures the energy within motion. Influenced by Michelangelo and cubism, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space probably represents the best achievement of Boccioni’s theories on plastic dynamism, where the artist develops an idea of time as a synthesis and not a mere sequence of consecutive moments. The majority of the images of this sculpture usually show the side of it, but I wanted to choose a detail of the front as, I think, it helps fully understand the complexity of the composition.


The Last Automat III, Max Ferguson


The Last Automat III, 2003 (oil on panel), Max Ferguson / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images


I met Max Ferguson in January 2007, during an internship at New York Bridgeman office. On that occasion, he gave me a copy of a catalogue on his work, Going, Going, Gone: Paintings of a Vanishing New York. I immediately liked his style. Among the images featured in the catalogue in question, The Last Automat III particularly caught my attention. The vending machine appearing in this painting is something suspended between tradition and modernity, between handmade meals and fast food. I find it a very fascinating object and I think the way the artist emphasises the light on the cake slices contributes to enhance a sort of 'magical' aura.



Destitute Pea Pickers in Nipoma, California


Destitute pea pickers in Nipoma, California, 1936 (b/w photo),
Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) / Private Collection
/ Bridgeman Images


Depicting rural poverty during the Great Depression, the images commissioned by Farm Security Administration definitely mark a turning point in the history of documentary photography. Among the pictures shot by that amazing group of artists, I’ve always particularly loved the now iconic portrait, colloquially known as Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange. The face of the woman portrayed in this photograph expresses a vast variety of feelings. Anxiety, tiredness, stress… but I like to see some hope in her eyes as well. The faces of the kids are not visible, but I think that the fact that they are left to our imagination adds power to this picture instead of making it weaker.



The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Picture of Clint Eastwood, dir. Sergio Leone


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, 1966 directed by SERGIO LEONE,
Clint Eastwood (photo) / Diltz / Bridgeman Images


Cinema plays a very relevant role in Bridgeman’s content. Therefore, I thought I definitely had to include in my selection an image connected to the seventh art. Well, when I hear the word “cinema”, one of the first things occurring to my mind are the amazing western movies by Italian director Sergio Leone. In particular, I really like The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Leone is believed to have said about Clint Eastwood that “his face has two expressions, one with the cigar and one without it”. I find this quote very hilarious and I always think about it when watching a movie starring Eastwood. By the way, Clint has never smoked and hated the taste of the cigars Leone forced him to smoke on set!




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