Published: June 6, 2019

Photo of Paris 60th 70th by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson was born on August 22, 1908 in the city of Chantloux, near Paris, to the family of Martha Le Verdier and Andre Cartier-Bresson.The photographer owes his double last name to the merger of the Cartier peasant family and the Bresson family of industrialists, which occurred long before the birth of the future photographer.Family history says that the once young Bressons were brought up by Cartier, and Cartier were trained by Bresson, until, in the general benefit, the marriage unions of the students and the chef's daughters turned the two families into one.By the birth of the future photographer, the very well-known brand of cotton threads in France, "Cartier-Bresson," brought a good profit.Henri got his own name in memory of his grandfather on his father's side.

The future master of photo reporting has been interested in painting since his youth.In his memoirs, Bresson wrote: "I have always had an interest in images.As a child, I studied drawing on Tuesdays and Thursdays and dreamed of giving myself to this activity on all other days.Like most children, I had a Brownie-box camera, and I shot her from time to time, mainly to fill small albums with images of summer vacation memories. "In December 1913, Henri first met his uncle Louis, an artist who introduced him to the world of art and began painting with a boy.Although his uncle died in 1915, his lessons had time to make an indelible impression on the boy.Henri decided to follow his footsteps and get an art education.For seven years, the young man studied in the studio of the artist Andre Lot,and in 1929, he attended lectures on painting at the University of Cambridge.He taught Cartier-Bresson a lot and cinema: according to the photographer's own words, the films he watched at that time (David Griffith's early paintings, Brise, Erich Stroheim's films, Predator, Potemkin's Battleship, Sergei Eisenstein, Zhanna's Arch "Carl Dreyer)" taught him to see. "

Later, in 1930, during his trip to Africa, the young artist met with the works of Eug?ne Atget (Atget), which opened up unique opportunities for photo art.The "last straw" was a snapshot of Martin Munk?csi (Martin Munk?csi), which depicted three black people, naked rushing into the waves of Lake Tanganyika.It was the aesthetics and dynamics of this photo that delighted Cartier-Bresson so much that he bought his first "real" camera - a box of wax-coated walnut, under 9x12 plates, of course, complete with a tripod and a black cape of the photographer.The lens of this device was closed with a lid, which at the same time played the role of a shutter - this small technical feature allowed you to shoot only that which does not move.

The first shots of Bresson were not particularly successful - many of them are too contrasted, others are sluggish.However, the photographer was upset only when the images were not obtained at all.In addition, his first cell was not destined to long life.A year later, the camera, unable to withstand the climate of Africa, was covered with mold, and the emulsion of photographic plates bloomed.Cartier-Bresson himself, on returning home, became ill and was forced to undergo treatment, existing on a small monthly sick pay.The result of months of idleness turned out to be unexpected - the photographer was able to take pictures at his own pleasure and found that there was a Leica camera, which, thanks to its compactness, is great for reporting, shooting life in motion.

However, the idea of ​​a photo essay, that is, stories in several photographs, at that time hardly occurred to the photographer.Cartier-Bresson wandered the streets for days on end, looking for decent snapshots of events and trying to catch the essence of the plot in one image.Bresson arrived at the reporting shoot a little later, after a deeper acquaintance with the work of his colleagues and his first experiences with illustrated magazines.

After the outbreak of the war, in 1939, Cartier-Bresson joined the French army in the position of corporal of the army film division.When the Nazis captured France, the photographer was taken prisoner, from where, on the third attempt, after thirty-six months of imprisonment, he fled to return to Paris and become a member of the Resistance.Now, in order to capture wartime on tape, the photographer needed not only the right eye, but courage and composure.Cartier-Bresson, in addition to them, revealed the leader's talent: a reporter photographer organized French photojournalists for filming during the occupation and retreat of the fascists.After the end of the war in 1945, Cartier-Bresson showed that he could successfully work in cinema - he commissioned the film The Return, commissioned by the American military information service,

In 1947, Cartier-Bresson became one of the founders of the famous international association of photo reporters Magnum.The creation of this organization was a response to the predatory policies of many Western agencies and magazines regarding photographers.The agents of "Magnum" offered the editorial staff ready-made exclusive materials in which, under the terms of the contracts, it was impossible to change at least one comma or frame at least one snapshot.Since the members of the Magnum cooperative agency remained full owners of their photographs, it is not surprising that the most talented and energetic photojournalists of Europe, including the famous military photo reporter Kapa, ​​were united under the wing of Magnum.

Shortly after the creation of the Magnum, Cartier-Bresson went to India for shooting, which gained independence as a result of the liberation movement, and then to China.Now the name of the photographer sounded among world-wide journalists.But the rise of fame came to the master after his Paris exhibition in the 1950s, which surpassed Europe and America in triumph.

As a photographer, Cartier-Bresson collaborated with leading Western publications: Vog, Life and Harpers Bazaar.Both everyday subjects and the most significant events of the 20th century, both ordinary people and important people, appeared in front of his lens.Here are the names of only some of his famous models: Irene and Frederic Joliot-Curie (1944), Henri Matisse (1944), Albert Camus (1944), Paul Valery (1946), William Faulkner (1947), Truman Capote (1947), Joan Miro (1953), Jean Renoir (1960), Andre Breton (1961), Marilyn Monroe (1961), Roland Barth (1963), Coco Chanel (1964), Jean-Paul Sartre, Ezra Pound (1970), Louis Aragon (1971 ).The first exhibition of photography in the Louvre, held in 1954, was devoted specifically to the work of Cartier-Bresson.Other exhibitions of the photographer were also held in the most famous galleries and museums of Paris, Milan, Tokyo,Cologne and other cities of the world.For many years, Cartier-Bresson remained the shop foreman of French photographers.On albums of his photos hundreds of the best photographers of the country have grown.

In 1952, Cartier-Bresson's book "The Decisive Moment" was published, which brought together about a hundred of his best photos.Then other albums of the master were released - "The Europeans" (1955), "The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson" (1968, with photos for forty years), "The Face of Asia" (1972), (1974).In the late 1960s and 1970s, Cartier-Bresson successfully studied cinematography (California Impressions, 1969, Southern Images, 1971).

I had to happen to the photographer in the USSR.In 1954, Cartier-Bresson became the first Western photographer who was allowed to visit the Land of Soviets after Stalin's death.The photos taken during this visit were included in the Cartier-Bresson album "Muscovites".Repeated travel to the USSR, in 1972, allowed the artist to see and capture the changes that have occurred in the country for almost twenty years.The accumulated material became the basis for the book by Bresson "About Russia", published in 1974.Russian photo lovers could see these pictures in the Big Manege, at the exhibition, which was held as part of the Photo Biennale 2000 in Moscow.
Henri Cartier-Bresson was married twice.In 1937 his wife was born in Jakarta dancer Ratne Mohini (the marriage broke up in 1967), and in 1970 - the photographer Martina Frank (en: Martine Franck).In the first marriage of children, Cartier-Bresson was not; in the second, daughter Melanie was born.

The preservation of tens of thousands of famous photographs of the photographer is dealt with by the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, created in 2003 in Paris.The master himself, who always adhered to the idea of ​​connecting the laws of photography with painting, practically left the photo for graphics since 1975.Since 1970, he created a large number of works of art, among which there were very few photographs - by his own admission, Cartier-Bresson took the camera out of the cover only from time to time, in order to make a portrait or a camera shot.

Art, which erected it to Olympus, was always placed by Cartier-Bresson below painting or drawing.Often the artist honored him with very harsh remarks ("Photography itself does not interest me. I just want to capture a piece of reality. I don't want to prove anything, emphasize anything. Things and people speak for themselves. I don't work in the kitchen." laboratory or in the studio makes me nauseous. I hate to manipulate - neither during shooting, nor after, in a dark room. A good eye will always notice such manipulations ... The only moment of creativity is one twenty-fifth of a second when the shutter clicks in the camera flashes svem and movement stops ").

The unique reaction, amazing talent and unusual methods of work of Henri Cartier-Bresson are still legendary.For example, the "invisibility" of the photographer became widely known - his models in the majority did not suspect that they were being removed (for the sake of disguise, Cartier-Bresson sealed the shiny metal parts of his camera with black tape).Another "proprietary" feature of Cartier-Bresson is the end of work on photography at the time of the shutter shooting.He never framed his pictures or made any other attempts to change them.The photographer is also known for trying to shoot any plot at the moment when he reaches the peak of emotional tension, the "decisive moment" (an expression that from his light received wide popularity in the photographic world).For Cartier-Bressnon himself, the "crucial moment" meant "instant recognition,

Henri Cartier-Bresson died on August 2, 2004 in Ille-sur-la Sorgue, a small town in southern France, not even a few weeks from his 96th birthday.The photographer was buried in the private cemetery of this city.

By WuDong,  


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