Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of this century's leading photographers and his career has profoundly influenced the field. His earliest images are of Europe in the 1930s and 40s; he later traveled throughout the world -- to the United States, India, Japan, China, Mexico, the Soviet Union -- to frame the world with his camera.
Europeansby Henri Cartier-Bresson, Jean Clair (Joint Author)
Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of this century's leading photographers. His earliest images are of Europe in the 1930s and '40s. Here is a magnificent compilation of the world-renowned photographer's work that truly captures his famous "decisive moments" through people and places rich in beauty as well as turmoil. 200 photos.
- Little, Brown and Company
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- Product dimensions:
- 9.02(w) x 11.03(h) x 1.06(d)
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Review Summary: This book is a brilliant expansion of M. Cartier-Bresson's 1955 show designed to emphasize the similarities that exist from country to country throughout Europe in the way people live together. M. Jean Clair has done a marvelous job of adding earlier and more recent images to extend and magnify this theme. As a result you will see an 'unquestionable family likeness' for the Europeans that emerges from 'the obstinate reworking of a chosen subject.' The book contains 200 duotone images to make that point. Reader Caution: While there is relatively little nudity in this book, there is one final image of two female models resting on a couch that would probably cost this material an R rating if it were a motion picture. If you skip that photograph, you will probably not find the other partial female nudity offensive. This one work is actually asexual, in portraying posing nude as hard work from which one needs a totally relaxing break. Review: Since World War II, Europeans have been struggling with their common heritage and how to balance it with the national, religious, and cultural ones. Gradually, the differences are being homogenized. Brilliantly, Henri Cartier-Bresson understood early on that the connections were stronger than most other people probably realized. By showing the similarities across countries and cultures, he creates an awareness of potential for friendship that would escape those who had never visited all of these countries. The work revolves around unnamed themes. But any casual viewer will spot children playing, men and women enjoying a relaxed moment together, public observances of religion and politics, how humans are dominated by nature, the contrasts between rich and poor, and the artificial nature of much modern life. His work also explores the subtle ways that natural and human-made objects display the same forms and outlines. Here are my favorite images in the book: Guilvines, Brittany, France, 1956; On the banks of the Seine, France, 1936; Palais-Royal, Paris, France, 1959: Amarante, Alto Douro, Portugal, 1955; Lamego, Beira Alta, Portugal, 1955; Madrid, Spain, 1932; Ariza, Aragon, Spain, 1953; Aquila, the Abruzzi, Italy, 1951; Torcello, Italy, 1953; Zurich, Switzerland, 1953; Ridnik, Serbia, Yugoslavia, 1965; Gyor, Hungary, 1964; Near Linz, Upper Austria, 1953; Tug-boat pilots on the Rhine, Germany, 1952; Warsaw, Poland, 1931; Moscow, USSR, 1954; Fishermen, near Suzdal, USSR, 1972; George VI's Coronation, London, England, 1937; Queen Charlotte's Ball, London, England, 1959; and Break between drawing poses, Paris, France, 1989. You will also be intrigued by how much of the political content of what is portrayed here has changed since it was photographed. The scenes of celebrating Soviet Communism and its founders are gone. The Berlin Wall is gone. The positive identification with everything royal in England is diminished. Naturally, there's a less pleasant side of this convergence that M. Cartier-Bresson did not choose to portray -- the dominance of mass culture with world brands and forms of entertainment, often from outside Europe. In fact, some have argued that the gravity pulling Europe together is that people like to have more choices when they shop. Isn't it interesting that this dimension was ignored? M. Cartier-Bresson has a masterly touch for composition that is seen again and again in these photographs. The large two-page landscapes with small people in them show the kind of sophistication that only the most successful painters achieve in the oversized paintings you see in the Paris museums. M. Cartier-Bresson also shows his love for people by portraying them in attractive, positive ways . . . even when they come from different ends of the religious and political spectrum. How wonderful it must have been for him to see people so positively! Those who are long-time Cartier-Bresson fans will be disappointed a little in the images here. You are proba