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Photographer and Painter
Cartier-Bresson, Henri(äNrē` kärtēā`-brĕsôN`), 1908–2004, French photojournalist, b. Chanteloup, near Paris. Cartier-Bresson is renowned for his countless memorable images of 20th-century individuals and events. After studying painting and being influenced by surrealismsurrealism
, literary and art movement influenced by Freudianism and dedicated to the expression of imagination as revealed in dreams, free of the conscious control of reason and free of convention.
..... Click the link for more information. , he began (1931) a career in photography. Achieved with the simplest of techniques, his works are remarkable for their flawless composition, for their capture of what has been called "the decisive moment" in a situation, and for the sense they convey of the rush of time arrested. His photographs, characteristically taken with a 35-mm camera, are uncropped and unmanipulated. Cartier-Bresson witnessed and photographed many of his era's most historic events, from the Spanish Civil War, to the partition of India, the Chinese revolution, and France's 1968 student rebellion. He made numerous photographs of the German occupation of France and in 1944, after escaping from a Nazi prison camp, organized underground photography units. He was the author of many photographic books including The Decisive Moment (1952), People of Moscow (1955), China in Transition (1956), The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson (1968), The Face of Asia (1972), About Russia (1974), and the retrospective Henri Cartier-Bresson: Photographer (1992). A founder (1947) of the Magnum photo agency, he virtually retired from photography in the early 1970s and thenceforth largely devoted himself to drawing.
See his The Mind's Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers (1999); biography by P. Assouline (2001, tr. 2005); F. Nourissier, Cartier-Bresson's France (tr. 1971); P. Galassi, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Early Work (1987); J.-P. Montier, Henri Cartier Bresson and the Artless Art (1996); P. Arbaizer et al., Henri Cartier-Bresson (2003); C. Chéroux, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Here and Now (2014).
Born Aug. 22, 1908, in Chan-teloup, Ile-de-France. Major French photographer.
Cartier-Bresson studied painting under A. Lhote (1929) and turned to photography in 1931. He is one of the founders of Magnum Photos (1947), the international agency of photojournalists. Using a Leica with a standard 50-mm lens, Cartier-Bresson avoids complex and cumbersome technical equipment. He depicts the familiar events of the world around him and the manners and customs of people of different lands. The seeming simplicity of his images is combined with humanistic pathos and social criticism.
Cartier-Bresson’s antifascist position first appeared in photographs taken in the late 1930’s in Spain; he was also a member of the French Resistance. Many of his photographs have an antiwar cast. Cartier-Bresson traveled throughout Europe, America, and Asia in the late 1940’s and 1950’s. His travels in the USSR resulted in the collection The People of Moscow (1957). Vive La France! was published in 1971.