Henri Cartier-Bresson

(1908 – 2004)

Take a look around

Naturally you can find many links to interesting articles about Henri Cartier-Bresson in the bibliography of this site, but a few deserve special attention. Furthermore, some other interesting afterthoughts about his work only appeared after the creation of the site.

For an overview of Cartier-Bresson's main portfolio Henri Cartier-Bresson: the Man, the Image & the World from the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson is an absolute must (Thames & Hudson, London, 2003, ISBN 9780500286425). On the other hand, an impressive collection of portraits of Cartier-Bresson is available online on the site of The Washington Post Magazine.

H. Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos<br>Hyères, France, 1932

H. Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos
Hyères, France, 1932

Two noteworthy articles are Henri Cartier-Bresson: Artist, Photographer and Friend by photo editor John G. Morris for the National Press Photographers Association and Henri Cartier-Bresson: from a Higher Reality to a Respect for Reality on the World Socialist Web Site. These discussions, both on the bulky side and written in English, offer an original perspective on Cartier-Bresson (respectively as a friend and as a socialist) and thus distinguish themselves from the plethora of information on the web. Unfortunately the first article has disappeared, you are a hero if you can track it down.

Finally, there's Biographie eines Blicks (Neue Zürcher Zeitung/Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, 2003), a documentary by the Swiss director Heinz Bütler in which Cartier-Bresson gets to speak himself. The result is a very sober interview with valuable anecdotes and one-liners from the master himself. The film was broadcasted regularly on European TV stations, and got released on DVD under the title The Impassioned Eye (Palm Pictures, 2006). This publication is only available in America.

In France, however, the DVD box Henri Cartier-Bresson: l'Oeil d'un Siècle (MK2/Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, 2006) appeared, in which Bütler's film is included. This box also includes the three films that Cartier-Bresson shot just before and after World War II (Victoire de la Vie, L'Espagne Vivra and Le Retour) and the two color films he made in the late 1960s (Impressions of California and Southern Exposures). Moreover, on the second DVD a few other documentaries about Henri Cartier-Bresson are gathered. One of those reports, L'Aventure Moderne: Henri Cartier-Bresson recently surfaced on YouTube. Below you can watch the first section, but the other parts are online too (part two, part three). The images cast an unprecedented look at the photographer in action: quasi hopping, skittishly searching for compositions, the Leica hidden in the palm of his hand. The boxset is almost exclusively available online from Amazon France.

R. Kahane/Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française
France, 29 minutes, 1962

Fans who want to spend a slightly larger budget, can also try to score an original edition of Images à la Sauvette, with the typical cover designed by Henri Matisse. Prices range from 500 euros for a coffee-stained sample to 2500 euros for an impeccable copy. Somewhat more lightweight (and cheaper), then, are the reenactments of some well-known images using — we kid you not — Lego. Faites vos jeux!

Le Couperet HCB © Frederik Neirynck 2004 – 2023