Henri Cartier-Bresson became known for “the decisive moment,” an instantaneous composition of a scene, for which the photographer must act quickly and intuitively. As a photojournalist for Magnum Photos, the agency he founded with his colleagues Robert Capa and David “Chim” Seymour, he traveled across the world, photographing some of the most important events of the 20th century. Early in his career, he developed a distinct style of photography and made some of his most famous and enduring images.
Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.
Unmarked recto; inscribed verso, in black ink: "Henri Cartier-Bresson"
28.8 × 20.8 cm (11 3/8 × 8 1/4 in.)
Julien Levy Collection, Gift of Jean and Julien Levy
Extended information about this artwork
Travis, David. 1976. “Photographs from the Julien Levy Collection: Starting with Atget.” Exh. cat. Art Institute of Chicago. p. 3, cat. 34.
Greenough, Sarah, Joel Snyder, David Travis and Colin Westerbeck. 1989. “On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography.” Exh. cat. National Gallery of Art/The Art Institute of Chicago. p. 304, cat. 249.
Sire, Agnes and William Ewing. 2004. “Documentary and Anti-Graphic Photographs; Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans.” Steidl. p. 111.
Cheroux, Clement. 2013. “Henri Cartier-Bresson.” Exh. cat. Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou. p. 120, cat. 95.
Art Institute of Chicago, “Photographs from the Julien Levy Collection: Starting with Atget,” December 11, 1976–February 20, 1977; traveled to the International Center of Photography, New York, April 21-May 29, 1977; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, November 4-December 18 1977; Fogg Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 13-Ferbruary 26, 1978; Lakeview Center for the Arts and Sciences, Peoria, Illinois, March 16-April 30, 1978; and Cincinnati Art Museum, November 17-December 24, 1978. (David Travis)
Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art, “On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography,” May 7–July 30, 1989; traveled to The Art Institute of Chicago, September 16–November 26, 1989; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, December 21, 1989–February 25, 1990.
Art Institute of Chicago, “Brassai and Company,” January 24-May 17, 1998. (David Travis)
New York, New York, The Equitable Gallery, “Julien Levy: Portrait of an Art Gallery,” August 13–October 31, 1998.
Art Institute of Chicago, “Hot Streaks,” February 21–May 2, 2004. (David Travis)
Paris, France, Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, “Documentary and Anti-Graphic Photography: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans and Manuel Alvarez-Bravo,” September 7–December 22, 2004; traveled to Switzerland, Musee de L’Elysee, February 10–April 10, 2005.
Art Institute of Chicago, “Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Art and Photography of Paris,” September 20, 2008–January 4, 2009. (David Travis)
Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.