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, center, in blue ink: "Henri Cartier-Bresson / c/o Julien Levy Galleries / 602 Madison Ave. New York City / USA"; verso, lower center, in graphite: "4" [encircled]
Image/paper: 17.8 × 25 cm (7 1/16 × 9 7/8 in.)
Julien Levy Collection, Special Photography Acquisition Fund
Extended information about this artwork
Travis, David. 1976. “Photographs from the Julien Levy Collection: Starting with Atget.” Exh. cat. p. 21, cat. 35.
Sire, Agnes and William Ewing. 2004. “Documentary and Anti-Graphic Photographs; Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans.” Steidl. p. 137
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)
Art Institute of Chicago, “Cartier-Bresson and His Contemporaries,” February 12–March 23, 1980.
Valencia, Spain, Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno Centre Julio Gonzalez, “Modern Photography in Mexico, 1923–1940,” January 29–May 17, 1998.
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)
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