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, upper left, in graphite: "056"; verso, upper right, in blue ink: "16"; verso, center right, in blue ink: "Henri Cartier Bresson / 31 rue de Lisbonne Paris 8th"; stamped verso, center left, in pink ink: "Photo: Henri CARTIER-BRESSON / Mention Obligatoire"; verso, center, in black ink: JULIEN LEVY GALLERY / 602 MADISON AVENUE / NEW YORK CITY"
Image/paper: 20 × 29.7 cm (7 7/8 × 11 3/4 in.)
Julien Levy Collection, Gift of Jean and Julien Levy
Extended information about this artwork
Galassi, Peter. 1987. “Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Early Work.” Museum of Modern Art/New York Graphic Society. p. 85.
Sire, Agnes and William Ewing. 2004. “Documentary and Anti-Graphic Photographs; Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans.” Steidl. p. 112
New York, New York, Museum of Modern Art, “Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Early Work,” September 9–November 29, 1987; traveled to Detroit Institute of Arts, December 15, 1987–February 29, 1988; Art Institute of Chicago, March–April 1988, San Diego, California, Museum of Photographic Arts, May 10–June 26, 1988.
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, “Paris: Photographs from a Time that Was,” August 13–November 6, 2005. (David Travis)
Art Institute of Chicago, “Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Art and Photography of Paris,” September 20, 2008–January 4, 2009. (David Travis)
New York, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, “Henri Cartier Bresson: The Modern Century,” April 11-June 28, 2010: traveled to the Art Institute of Chicago, July 24-October 3, 2010; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, October 30, 2010-January 30, 2011; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, February 19-May 15, 2011. (Chicago only)
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