Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris, 1932
Gelatin silver print
“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.”
Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) was a French humanist photographer, an artist considered to be a pioneering figure in street photography. He was an early user of 35 mm film, and a master in capturing decisive moments: in his view this was what photography was all about. In the late 1920’s he studied painting under André Lhote, and entered the world of the Parisian avant-garde. In 1931 he started using the camera to create photographic results revealing both Cubist and Surrealist influences. He was one of the founding members of Magnum Photos in 1947. Since his exhibition at MoMA in 1946, his work has become part of every museum collection: it is seen as a hallmark of twentieth-century photographic style.