Henri Cartier-Bresson was one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. What makes Cartier-Bresson’s vast body of work so universally impressive is that he was seemingly present at every significant event and in the intimate company of every important figure of the 20th Century. Trained as a painter at a young age, Cartier-Bresson was heavily influenced by the Cubist and Surrealist concepts when he first began photographing towards the end of the 1920s. It was photography’s ability to be an immediate sketch that could capture everyday situations with exceptional grace and Zen-like spontaneity that inspired the young intellectual to travel with the Leica as his companion for decades to follow. Beyond “The Decisive Moment”, the title of his 1952 landmark monograph and philosophical theory on photographing as the artless art, Cartier-Bresson was a zealous geometrician and strictly adhered to only composing within the camera and never in the darkroom. His passion for visual harmony, humanity and the impermanence of reality focused by a classically trained eye allowed for the creation of an unrivaled body of historic imagery.
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