We’re proud to distribute the Charmet Archive for licensing. The collection has a variety of photography, manuscripts, posters and illustrations with a special focus on France, assembled over thirty years ago by Jean-Loup Charmet.
400,000 images can be found in this collection, covering public events, culture, science, people and places from every era. Images exclusively reference France. Jean-Loup Charmet was a photographer and documentalist who searched, found and reproduced forgotten images in friendly galleries, illuminated books, scholarly collections, museums of various sizes and reputations, and specialized libraries. Images were constantly being reproduced, showcasing miniatures, prints, postcards, manuscripts, advertisements, educational images and paintings. Images found in this collection are an ode to memory, history, geography, popularisation and knowledge.
Jean-Loup Charmet was born in Chartres during the War on May 1, 1940, he grew up in Paris, in the heart of an educated bourgeois family. His family home was a large flat with an open view on to the Luxembourg Gardens. Charmet was surrounded by creativity, his father was an art critic and painter whilst his mother from Hungary had a pronounced taste for the popular arts.
Charmet’s passion for iconography first developed in a trip to Eastern Europe in the sixties. He started to make photographic reports in Budapest. Whilst working with the publisher Tchou, Charmet threw himself tentatively to the reproduction of old documents.
The birth and foundation of the Découvertes Gallimard Collection allowed Charmet’s collection to shine. Charmet’s office was located on the top floor of the 17th-century building on Rue Chapon in Paris. Documentalists would arrive at Charmet’s office looking for treasures that would serve as a support for the papers and illustrations to support ideas in their written works.
The Découvertes Gallimard Collection is an editorial collection of illustrated monographic books published by the Éditions Gallimard.
Charmet worked with a large number of white boxes filled with black and white prints and yellow boxes full of medium - format prints. The boxes all had a different title, a theme - Revolution, Consulate, Esotericism, Sweet Spices, Imageries d’Epinal, Nostradamus. These boxes contained the treasures of Daumier’s caricatures, engravings from the Petit Journal, tempera on vellum or gouaches on paper of Chinese Emperors and Tibetan figures and illustrations from La Fontaine’s Fables.
Handwritten captions accompanied all of Charmet’s documents. The collection was rigorously and appropriately arranged otherwise images would have been impossible to find. Charmet would take his images to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Bibliothèque de l'Institut, the Mazarine and the Musée Guimet all in efforts to make sure his treasures were identified and reproduced. Charmet took the opportunity to take his photographs to the library at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs on Mondays as it was closed.
The Charmet Archive is exclusive with Bridgeman Images. The Archive contains a variety of images based on different themes, including The Arts, Religion, Transport & Travel, History, Science and Soldiers etc. The list is extensive, the diversity of knowledge that can be found within these images is spectacular. A range of different literary images such as children's literature, foreign literature and surrealist literature can be obtained from Charmet’s collection.
And some Collection Gems from the Archive Charmet:
Below the end of the poem 'Voyage a Cythere' with Baudelaire's signature. The poem was dedicated to Gerard de Nerval (1808-55) and inspired by a little text by Nerval in 'L'Artiste' on 30th June and 11th August 1844.
This is a poem by French surrealist poet Robert Desnos, who had a particular talent for automatic writing.
Photographs of many creative people including renowned artists, poets and collectors, can be found within the collection. These photographs document French designer and art collector Jacques Doucet at a dress fitting with two ladies and a photograph of Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali in conversation.
The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall is a ghost that reportedly haunts Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England. It became one of the most famous hauntings in Great Britain when photographers from Country Life magazine claimed to have captured its image. The "Brown Lady" is so named because of the brown brocade dress it is claimed she wears.
Jean-Loup Charmet passed away on 1 March 2001. Charmet’s work adds to our resources at Bridgeman Images. Mr Charmet’s work captured adventure, a certain idea of photography, vitality and a singular approach. Charmet’s posters, photographs and illustrations represent France and international sources giving viewers astounding information.
Would you like to see more images from the Charmet Archive available on our website? View our selection.
For any further information about this and other collections, please do not hesitate to contact us.