A large group of people. An unlikely gathering in the foyer of the Princeton University Art Museum. A crowd stopped dead in its tracks.
Some were students and professors - the usual university crowd - but others were maintenance workers and even a delivery man who found time in his tight schedule to stop and look. There were fingers pointing, small gesticulations, muted conversations, but mostly quiet as people looked in awe at the print on the wall.
The image - the massive view of Rome in 1765 by Giuseppe Vasi - was rare, yet its appeal was universal. We had seen the map before, but this was our first chance to see one of the original printings, the eighteen sheets arranged into a single work. Like the group in front of us, we were stunned by the image.
For some time before the public Vasi experience we had looked for full-size prints of the arresting city images we discovered in our doctoral research, but most did not exist. We were now convinced that we were not alone in this search. From that gap on the ground, our company was born.
Now out of its infancy, Bedrock Images has laid down a solid foundation without losing sight of the goal behind the concept: the research, restoration, and distribution of the most impressive, forgotten images of cities ever made.
We had unearthed a wealth of material to share, but it was not clear at the beginning how to prepare these maps and city views for the public. Each was originally imagined as a coherent work, but due to restrictions in past printing technology, each was printed as a series of smaller plates. For hundreds of years, wealthy city dwellers and aristocrats bought these prints in hardbound books, each page a plate of the larger image. The books were bound for durability, but each plate was printed so that it could also be removed if an owner wanted to display the larger map on the wall.
Owners would have to pay extra to have the separate images hand-sewn and glued onto a uniform linen or hemp backing, often with poor to mixed results. Over time, the paper tended to deteriorate because of a chemical reaction with the adhesive, and also because the material did not take well to rolled storage in a tube - the vellum is too thick and tends to flake and crumble.
OUR CONTEMPORARY APPROACH
Recent advances in printing technology have allowed us to produce prints that would make the aristocrats of the past 500 years envious. We are able to deliver quality superior to that which was available to the original artists. Through careful digital design work our prints are seamless, and they convey the glory and grandeur of these large works. Whether your benchmarks are beauty, clarity, color, or historical significance, we believe that our prints will eclipse your expectations.
Drawn from a wide selection, our images depict cities around the world at critical historical moments. The works embody the energy and aesthetic that modern city dwellers seek - elegance, creativity, distinction, and the unique. They are stunning art objects, but they are also rich historical documents. Explore our images and follow their stories. Each image is part of a larger narrative that reveals the history behind its conception and execution, but also squints toward the future and the changes that all cities constantly undergo.