Susanna's Pics

From Caravaggio to Abstract Expressionism, here are our UK Publishing Account Manager's favourites from the archive​​

Susanna Feder


What is your role at Bridgeman?

I am an Account Manager in the UK Publishing team. My clients are diverse in size, activity and location - from publishing houses to museums, auction houses, newspapers and magazines.


What do you love most about the job?

I love the content we represent, it encompasses the best artistic, historical and cultural artefacts in the world. My customers’ projects are often fascinating and hugely varied. In any given week I deal with images which will end up in opera or theatre programmes, in auction and exhibition catalogues, in books, newspaper articles and on magazine covers. We now also exclusively represent the British Library’s holdings in the UK, an unrivalled treasure trove of manuscripts, books and letters. I particularly enjoy seeing the finished products at the end – the books, catalogues, adverts and magazines I’ve worked on.

What misconceptions do clients most commonly have about the archive?

I don’t think many people know that we also hold various footage collections which we can license. A few clients thought that we hold the original artworks here in the office (I wish!)



Madonna of Loreto, c.1606 (oil on canvas), Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) / Chiesa di San Agostino, Rome, Italy / De Agostini Picture Library







Madonna of Loreto, Caravaggio

After seeing Derek Jarman’s 1986 film I decided Caravaggio would henceforth be my favourite artist. I particularly love his use of strong light in a dark setting and very ‘modern’-seeming depictions - the pilgrims with their dirty feet, the Madonna and her unusual stance in a doorway. As a student I spent an entire summer in Rome, ostensibly to get a holiday job and improve my Italian but I ended up just visiting churches, museums, ruins and catacombs every day. I particularly remember this painting in one of the oldest Renaissance churches in the centre. When I had run out of all my change I used to hang around in the gloom, waiting for another tourist to come in an put a lire piece into the machine which lit up the painting for a few short minutes - before the interior again fell into darkness. 









Lion Man​

The older the work or artefact the more fascinating it is (to me at least!). This is one of the earliest figures of a human being ever discovered; a man (some say woman) with the head of a lion, created in what is now Southern Germany around 35,000-41,000 years ago. I saw the original in Ulm museum just after its completion / restoration in 2013 and it is absolutely mesmerising. What were the thought processes that led stone age people to create this man/animal hybrid? Its purpose must have been sacred, magical, ritualistic? Either way it is one of the most amazing complex achievements of our distant ancestors.
Lion Man, Aurignacian Culture (mammoth ivory), Paleolithic / Museum der Stadt, Ulm, Germany


Blue Poles, 1952 (oil, enamel, aluminium paint & glass on canvas), Jackson Pollock (1912-56) / National Gallery of Australia, Canberra




Blue Poles, Jackson Pollock​

And now for something completely different(?) Abstract Expressionism in general is not really my thing (macho, aggressive and too struttingly obsessed with its own creative process) but I find the “Blue Poles” utterly intriguing. My reading of it would be an attempt of the Super-Ego to impose its own structure onto the semiotic chora – but ultimately failing. Quite obvious really once you think about it.





Self portrait as the allegory of Painting, Artemisia Gentileschi​

Artemisia Gentileschi! A name like a song and a truly captivating artist. It’s impossible to separate her tragic and turbulent life story from her work. A female painter (!) painting herself (!) as an allegory of Painting (!) – a triple shocker to the extreme patriarchy of 17th Century Italy. The angle she has chosen in this painting is a tricky one and yet she has managed to create a harmonious, calm and confident image of a woman absorbed in her work.

Self portrait as the allegory of Painting (La Pittura) 1638-39 (oil on canvas), Artemisia Gentileschi, (1597-c.1651) / Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2017


The Entire City, 1935-36 (oil on canvas), Max Ernst (1891-1976) / Kunsthaus, Zurich, Switzerland




Max Ernst: Die Ganze Stadt​

I love the perfect combination of the simple elements of this work – the architectural patterns and oversized full moon in the night sky. The plants in the foreground are the most varied and lively features, yet they haven’t managed to encroach on this mysterious, possibly abandoned city. Here I go again with my antiquity obsession.




Clip: Berlin Nightlife 1920s​

A great collage of 1920s Berlin. Nightlife, street scenes, super-sparkly dancing girls and grandiose stage sets.
It wasn’t all “Blue Angel” and “Cabaret” style coolness you know.

Berlin nightlife, 1920s



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