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Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908–2004)
LOT ID: 74984
Sunday Picnic on the Banks of the Marne, 1938

Silver Print, gelatin silver print
9.38 х 14 in. (23.83 x 35.56 cm.)
Signed, in ink on recto margin.
Lot description
Paper size is 11.75 x 15.75 inches (30 x 40 cm). Printed before 1973.

Henri Cartier-Bresson
French, b. 1908, d. 2004
Born in Chanteloup, Seine-et-Marne, Henri Cartier-Bresson developed a strong fascination with painting early on, and particularly with Surrealism. In 1932, after spending a year in the Ivory Coast, he discovered the Leica - his camera of choice thereafter - and began a life-long passion for photography. In 1933 he had his first exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. He later made films with Jean Renoir.

Taken prisoner of war in 1940, he escaped on his third attempt in 1943 and subsequently joined an underground organization to assist prisoners and escapees. In 1945 he photographed the liberation of Paris with a group of professional journalists and then filmed the documentary Le Retour (The Return).

In 1947, with Robert Capa, George Rodger, David 'Chim' Seymour and William Vandivert, he founded Magnum Photos. After three years spent travelling in the East, in 1952 he returned to Europe, where he published his first book, Images à la Sauvette (published in English as The Decisive Moment).

He explained his approach to photography in these terms, '"For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression."

From 1968 he began to curtail his photographic activities, preferring to concentrate on drawing and painting. In 2003, with his wife and daughter, he created the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris for the preservation of his work. Cartier-Bresson received an extraordinary number of prizes, awards and honorary doctorates. He died at his home in Provence on 3 August 2004, a few weeks short of his 96th birthday. [magnumphotos.com]
Sunday Picnic on the Banks of the Marne by Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Sunday Picnic on the Banks of the Marne by Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Sunday Picnic on the Banks of the Marne by Henri Cartier-Bresson
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

  • Henri Cartier-Bresson

    On the Banks of the Marne
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    (H 11.9, W 17.6) in.
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    (H 9.4, W 14.0) in.
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  • Henri Cartier-Bresson

    Picnic on the banks of the Marne
    gelatin silver print
    (H 9.4, W 14.2) in.
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    Tuesday, March 31, 2009
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  • Henri Cartier-Bresson

    Picnic on the banks of the Marne
    gelatin silver print
    (H 9.4, W 14.2) in.
    (24 x 36.1) cm.
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    Tuesday, October 14, 2008
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    On the banks of the Marne
    gelatin silver print
    (H 9.3, W 14.2) in.
    (23.7 x 36) cm.
    Sold for: US$11,763
    Monday, November 12, 2007
    Sotheby's London
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  • Henri Cartier-Bresson

    On the banks of the Marne, France
    gelatin silver print
    (H 9.3, W 14.0) in.
    (23.5 x 35.5) cm.
    Sold for: US$10,625
    Thursday, October 18, 2007
    Christie's New York
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  • Henri Cartier-Bresson

    On the banks of the Marne, France
    gelatin silver print
    (H 11.7, W 17.6) in.
    (29.8 x 44.8) cm.
    Sold for: US$10,200
    Wednesday, October 17, 2007
    Phillips de Pury & Company New York
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