Henri Cartier-Bresson - Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Eye of the Century New York Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Literature

    Cartier-Bresson, The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson, pl. 206
    Chéroux, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Here and Now, pl. 325
    Chéroux, Aperture Masters of Photography: Henri Cartier-Bresson, pp. 82-83
    Chéroux, Discoveries: Henri Cartier-Bresson, p. 99
    Montier, Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Artless Art, pl. 242
    Thames & Hudson, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Image and The World, pl. 472
    Thames & Hudson, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Photographer, pl. 106
    Viking, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Face of Asia, pp. 130-131

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the fall of 1965, Henri Cartier-Bresson was invited by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun to visit Japan. Taking two expeditions, one in the north, the second venturing south, he covered much of the country, documenting all walks of life. Taken during this trip, his photograph of the Shinto funeral for the late Kabuki actor, commendably demonstrates Cartier-Bresson's strength in documenting the emotion of the moment, while maintaining emphasis on a balanced composition. Shown here, the mourners are equally divided on either side of the photographic frame by a central focus on the Japanese script that reads "funeral."

  • 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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Shinto funeral for the late Kabuki actor, Ichikawa Danjūrō XI, Tokyo, Japan

Gelatin silver print, printed later.
11 3/4 x 17 5/8 in. (29.8 x 44.8 cm)
Signed in ink and copyright credit blindstamp in the margin.

$8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for $15,000

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Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Eye of the Century

New York Auction 12 December 2017