Henri Cartier-Bresson - Photographs London Wednesday, May 20, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, London

  • Literature

    M. Parr, G. Badger, The Photobook: A History Volume I, London: Phaidon, pp. 208-209

  • 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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The Decisive Moment, 1952; The Europeans, 1955

New York: Simon and Schuster and Paris: Éditions Verve. Each 37 x 27.4 x 3 cm (14 5/8 x 10 3/4 x 1 1/8 in.). 126, 114 black and white photographs, respectively, each with original booklet of captions laid-in. Original jacket, boards illustrated after designs by Henri Matisse and Joan Miró, respectively.
Accompanied by a handwritten and signed letter and postcard by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

£2,500 - 3,000 

Sold for £3,500

Contact Specialist
Lou Proud
Head of Photographs
+ 44 207 318 4018


London 21 May 2015 4pm