Photographer Who Captured the Romance of Paris

Henri Cartier Bresson

August 22, 1908 – August 3, 2004) was a French humanist photographer considered a master of candid photography, and an early user of 35 mm film. He pioneered the genre of street photography and conceived of photography as capturing a decisive moment. His work has influenced many photographers.

Henri Cartier Bresson

There is an undeniable romanticism surrounding France’s capital city as it inhabits the collective consciousness—from the centuries-old buildings worn by time to the expat-filled avant-garde circles of the ’20s, to the colorful characters in the city’s seedier districts. Over the decades, the spirit of Paris and its people has served as a subject for some of the most influential photographers, who have in turn immortalized the city through their images.

Henri Cartier Bresson
Henri Cartier Bresson
Henri Cartier Bresson

Biography of Henri Cartier Bresson

Upon picking up a Leica camera in the early 1930s, Henri Cartier Bresson fell in love with the spontaneity of photography and went on to pioneer photojournalism. MoMA credits his “uncanny ability to capture life on the run” with helping to define the creative potential of modern photography and lauds him as “the keenest observer of the global theater of human affairs.” Taking pride in capturing “the decisive moment,“ Cartier-Bresson intimately captured portraits and scenes, both mundane and historic, around the world. In 1947, he formed Magnum Photos, a photography cooperative, with Robert Capa and others. Over the ensuing three decades, assignments took him from Gandhi’s funeral in India to the chaotic streets of Shanghai during China’s Communist revolution, to Queen Charlotte’s elegant ball in London. “To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It’s a way of life,” he said.

French, 1908-2004, Chanteloup, France


Tra la via Emilia e il West, Galleria Valeria Bella, Milano

For more information about his work and purchasable prints online visit Henri Cartier Bresson at Artsy Net.

2017-08-10T12:51:51+00:002 Comments


  1. Emily 09/09/2018 at 21:28 - Reply

    Simple and informative, You could say he also founded candid photography right?

    • Stavros Marmaras 09/09/2018 at 22:31 - Reply

      Hi Emily,thanks for taking the time to write. Yes, you could say that, of course he was just one of the pioneers to this genre among others not very well known.

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