Cartier Bresson, Henri


August 11, 2022

Henri Cartier-Bresson (fr. Henri Cartier-Bresson; August 22, 1908 - August 3, 2004) - French photographer, master of realistic photography of the 20th century, photo artist, father of photo reporting and photojournalism, representative of documentary photography.


Origin of surname and name

Henri's mother was Marthe Le Verdière (maiden name) and her father was André Cartier-Bresson. The double surname of the father, "Cartier-Bresson", first registered in 1901, turned out to be a combination of the surname of the Cartier peasants, originally from the department of Oise, and the surname of Bresson industrialists, manufacturers of cotton thread. The relationship began when the urban Bresson family entrusted the care of their children to members of the rural Cartier family. Later, two of Cartier's sons (one of them was named Andre) became students of Bresson - and, in the end, having married the daughters of their boss, they entered the share of the enterprise. The joint business of the two families flourished, and the name "Cartier-Bresson" became a very famous brand of cotton thread in France at the beginning of the 20th century. On August 22, 1908, Martha and André Cartier-Bresson have their first child. In memory of his paternal grandfather, Henri Cartier, the boy (the eldest of five children) was given the name Henri.

Art Education

He was interested in painting from his youth. In December 1913, Henri met his uncle Louis, an artist who introduced him to the art world. Unfortunately, his uncle died in 1915, but Henri continued to follow his advice. He studied at the studio of the artist André Lot. Cartier-Bresson owes much of his outstanding skill as a photographer to his education as an artist and graphic artist.

Travel and passion for photography

In 1930, after beginning his studies in painting and graphics, he went on a trip to Africa. Returning to France in 1932, he decided to devote himself to photography. He was very impressed by several photographs taken by Eugène Atget and André Kertész, but most of all he was inspired to photographic art by a photograph known as "Liberia", taken by Martin Munkacsy in 1929 or 1930 and published in 1931 in the art magazine "Graphics and Crafts" (French Arts et Métiers Graphices). The frame captured three black teenagers, naked rushing into the waves of Lake Tanganyika (Tanzania). He is high