Top publisher DK turns to Bridgeman to provide over 80 per cent of images for the new picture-packed reference book Art: THE DEFINITIVE VISUAL GUIDE

  • Major new art reference book contains over 2,500 iconic images
  • Bridgeman initiated fresh photography to 'breathe life' into well-known art works
  • Intricate 'close-up' details give book exciting and unique design

LONDON - 20 October 2008 - Following the publication of 'Art' this week, Bridgeman Art Library, the leading art image library, has announced its close collaboration with Dorling Kindersley (DK) – the world's top publisher of illustrated reference books – to produce a major new reference book Art: THE DEFINITIVE VISUAL GUIDE. Bridgeman, which supplied over 80 per cent of the high resolution images for Art, spent months working on this project, creating new details from transparencies for a graphic 'Closer Look' at key art works and commissioning new photography from top galleries including the Uffizi and Musée d'Orsay. The result is a fresh and stunning visual history of art that 'breathes life' into iconic works and provides exciting new close-up details to graphically illustrate the artists' technique and style.

Art, aimed at art lovers of all levels, brings together a gallery of more than 2,500 of the world's most influential paintings and sculptures from over 8,000 collections and 700 artists – more than any other popular art book on the market. Exploring the major milestones in art history, masterpieces are analysed in detail as 'Closer Looks', helping the reader to understand composition and the artist's intention.

Jonathan Metcalf, DK’s Reference Publisher, said: "It is critical that any book about art has the best possible reproductions. We selected Bridgeman as our partner in this project not just because of its unrivalled range of art imagery but also due to the quality of the transparencies and the willingness of Bridgeman's technical department to ensure that every image supplied matched the vibrant colours and textures of the original masterpieces."

"Anyone who's ever seen an art work in the flesh, then visited the gallery shop to buy it on a postcard will know that reproductions very often don't do justice to the original," commented Pandora Mather-Lees, Managing Director (Sales), The Bridgeman Art Library. "If you buy a reproduction of, say, Van Gogh's Sun Flowers, it may well be flat – in every sense of the word – and the colours a pale imitation of those in the original canvas. However with today's photography and scanning technology it is possible to show the vibrant colours and textures of the original. We have spent months shooting new photography and working on existing transparencies to ensure the very best results for DK's Art book.

"Bridgeman is delighted to have collaborated with DK on this project. Utilising our expertise has helped to create a fresh, distinctive design approach and a truly accessible book on the global history of art, while also providing an important source of revenue to the numerous collections and artists that we represent," Pandora Mather-Lees added.

ISBN: 9781405322430
£30.00 hardback
612pp, full colour throughout, 2,500 illustrations
301mm x 252mm
Andrew Graham-Dixon - Editor-in-chief

Note to Editors - range of high-res images available on request. View images at:




About Dorling Kindersley
Since 1974, Dorling Kindersley has published an extensive range of internationally acclaimed titles for adults and children. As the UK's market leader in illustrated non-fiction, it prides itself on creating books that combine comprehensive information and superb design. It is owned by media group Pearson PLC, and is part of the Penguin Group.

About The Bridgeman Art Library (BAL)
Established for 35 years and with four international offices, The Bridgeman Art Library is the world's leading source of fine art, history and culture with some 300,000 images available on-line, plus 750,000 historical photographs, from 8000 locations. It represents museums, galleries and artists throughout the world by providing a central source of fine art for image users.

BAL also develops educational resource packages, publishes art catalogues, offers copyright advice, licenses reproduction rights and provides sales services. The organisation has a long history of feeding monies back into museums, with figures of up to £1.5 million per year.

For more information, please visit

Alison Smith
The PressOffice - PR for BAL
Tel: 01780 721 433

Annabel O'Connor-Fenton
Marketing Executive, Bridgeman Art Library
Tel: 020 7096 1963

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