Henri Cartier-Bresson - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired from the photographer via Helen Wright, as agent, New York

  • Literature

    Cartier-Bresson, The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson, pl. 12
    Chéroux, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Here and Now, pl. 55
    Clair, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Europeans, p. 65
    Montier, Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Artless Art, pl. 235
    Thames & Hudson, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Image and The World, pl. 129
    Cartier-Bresson, The Decisive Moment, pl. 18 (variant)

  • 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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Roman Amphitheater, Valencia, Spain

Gelatin silver print, printed later.
9 1/4 x 13 7/8 in. (23.5 x 35.2 cm)
Signed in ink in the margin; signed in ink and annotated in pencil on the verso.

$6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for $10,795

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs


Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 11 October 2023