Group 2

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson was initially interested in painting and belonged to the surrealist artist circles. During his travels to the Ivory Coast in 1931, he began taking photographs.

He was conscripted when the Second World War broke out, but after only a few months he was captured by the Germans. The war years influenced his approach to his work and he became a conscious photo journalist and the emphasis of his work was on mankind, not art. In 1947, he co-founded the legendary photo agency Magnum Photo. He then spent more than 20 years travelling around the world with his camera, producing reportages that have become seminal. From the mid-1970s, he devoted himself entirely to painting. In 1952 was Cartier-Bresson’s famous book Images à la sauvette (The Decisive Moment) published. This work became a bible for generations of photographers. In it, Cartier-Bresson presents his methods and his thoughts on photography. Henri Cartier-Bresson has come to epitomise the independent photographer who, with his small-format camera, succeeds in capturing the decisive moment.

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