Although he had made pictures from an early age, it was only in 1931 that Cartier-Bresson found his calling as a photographer. First with an unwieldy box camera then in 1932 with a 35mm camera (a new compact Leica), he set out to photograph life in the streets of various cities in his native France and abroad. He quickly developed what would become a hallmark of twentieth-century photographic style. In his landmark 1952 monograph The Decisive Moment, Cartier-Bresson defined his philosophy: “To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which gave that event its proper expression.”
Inscription: Typed inscription on paper label affixed to print, recto LL corner: "Parigi, 1932"; inscribed in pencil on mount, verso UC: "Paris 1932 // Halle ause vins"; inscribed in pencil on mount, verso C: "C/E 21"; inscribed in pencil on mount, verso LR: "141, [sideways, encircled]"; inscribed in blue ink on mount, verso UR, LR: "VIII [upside down]", "5 [sideways]"; inscribed in JCW hand in pencil on mount, verso UR: "392. // Cartier-Bresson // 1933"
John C. Waddell
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Few Are Chosen: Street Photography and the Book, 1936-1966," November 5, 2004–March 6, 2005.
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Henri Cartier-Bresson [X]," April 30, 2005–May 1, 1905.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Street," March 5, 2013–May 27, 2013.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paris as Muse: Photography, 1840s – 1930s," January 27, 2014–May 4, 2014.