Henri Cartier-Bresson


The Early Work

In 1932, at the age of 24, Henri Cartier-Bresson acquired a Leica, a light and handy camera. This camera – which gained legendary status thanks to him – became the extension of his eyes and never left him. He traveled, carrying his Leica everywhere and observed the world through it. Thus the “eye of the century” Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century and co-founder of the famous Magnum Photos agency began his career. After experimentation with drawing and painting, it was photography that finally allowed him to capture those fleeting moments of reality, the Leica representing in his eyes “the perfect instrument for the rapid sketches and the exercise of looking at life.” He photographed extensively, first in the Ivory Coast, where he spent a year and took his first images. Then, bewitched by surrealism, he travelled to France, Italy, Spain, Morocco, Mexico and New York. In three years, he established his visual grammar and created some of the most original and influential bodies of work in the history of photography.

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