Henri Cartier-Bresson - Photographs London Friday, September 25, 2020 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Artcurial, Paris, 27 May 2008, lot 108

  • Literature

    J. Clair, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Europeans, London: Thames & Hudson, 1998, p. 81
    J-P. Montier, Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Artless Art, Boston: Little, Brown, 1999, pl. 244
    P. Galassi et al., Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Man, the Image and the World, London: Thames & Hudson, 2003, pl. 144
    C. Chéroux, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Here and Now, London: Thames & Hudson, 2014, pl. 317

  • Catalogue Essay

    While on assignment for publications such as Holiday and Harper's Bazaar in the early 1950s, Henri Cartier-Bresson explored the cities, neighbourhoods and towns of Italy, unveiling the country's unique charm to the magazines' readerships. These trips revealed not only Italy's natural landscape, but also its constructed social landscape; the resulting image epitomises Cartier-Bresson’s masterful ability to capture the serendipity of life’s everyday moments.

  • Artist Biography

    Henri Cartier-Bresson

    French • 1908 - 2004

    Candidly capturing fleeting moments of beauty among the seemingly ordinary happenings of daily life, Henri Cartier-Bresson's work is intuitive and observational. Initially influenced by the Surrealists' "aimless walks of discovery," he began shooting on his Leica while traveling through Europe in 1932, revealing the hidden drama and idiosyncrasy in the everyday and mundane. The hand-held Leica allowed him ease of movement while attracting minimal notice as he wandered in foreign lands, taking images that matched his bohemian spontaneity with his painterly sense of composition.

    Cartier-Bresson did not plan or arrange his photographs. His practice was to release the shutter at the moment his instincts told him the scene before him was in perfect balance. This he later famously titled "the decisive moment" — a concept that would influence photographers throughout the twentieth century. 

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Aquila degli Abruzzi, Italy

Gelatin silver print, printed later.
35.9 x 24 cm (14 1/8 x 9 1/2 in.)
Signed in ink and copyright credit blindstamp in the margin; titled and dated in pencil on the verso.

£7,000 - 9,000 ‡♠

Sold for £7,500

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Yuka Yamaji
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London Auction 25 September 2020