Henri Cartier-Bresson


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Do you own a work by Henri Cartier-Bresson and would you like to know more about its value? Our Experts will carry out a free appraisal of your painting, to provide you with an estimate of the market price, then assist you to sell at the best price.

Status, price and estimation of the artist Henri Cartier-Bresson

Price of a photograph: 340 – 52,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 80 – 900 €.

If you would like to have a work by Henri Cartier-Bresson appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

The youth of Henri Cartier-Bresson and the discovery of photography

Born in Chanteloup, in Seine-et-Marne, Henri Cartier-Bresson developed a strong fascination for painting, and in particular for surrealism, at a very early age. In 1932, after spending a year in the Ivory Coast, he discovered the Leica – his favourite camera thereafter – and developed a passion for photography. In 1933, he exhibited for the first time at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. He then made films with Jean Renoir.

A work punctuated by the wars of the 20th century

In 1937, Cartier-Bresson made a documentary film, his first, on medical aid during the Spanish Civil War. It was also at this time that he made his first reportage photographs for newspapers and magazines. His enthusiasm for cinema was all the greater since, from 1936 to 1939, he worked as assistant to the filmmaker Jean Renoir in the production of Une Partie de campagne and La Règle du jeu. As a photographer, he felt indebted to the great films he had seen in his youth. They taught him, he said, to choose precisely the expressive moment, the revealing point of view. The importance he attaches to sequential images in still photography can be attributed to his preoccupation with cinema.

Taken prisoner of war in 1940, he escaped on his third attempt in 1943 and later joined a clandestine organisation to help prisoners and escapees. In 1945, he photographed the liberation of Paris with a group of professional journalists and then shot the documentary Le Retour.

Recognition: Magnum Photos and the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation

In 1947, with Robert Capa, George Rodger, David “Chim” Seymour and William Vandivert, he founded Magnum Photos. The agency is made up of the most talented photojournalists of the time, and Henri Cartier-Bresson Cartier-Bresson then focused over ever on reportage photography. After three years spent in the East, he returned to Europe in 1952, where he published his first book, Images à la Sauvette (published in English under the title The Decisive Moment).

He explains: “Pour me, the camera is a sketchbook, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the moment who, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression. »

From 1968 onwards, he began to reduce his photographic activity, preferring to concentrate on drawing and painting. In 2003, on the strength of his fame, he created the Henri Cartier – Bresson Foundation in Paris for the conservation of his work. Cartier-Bresson has received an extraordinary number of prizes, awards and honorary doctorates. He died at his home in Provence on 3 August 2004, a few weeks before his 96th birthday.

Recognising Henri Cartier-Bresson’s signature

Like many artists, Henri Cartier-Bresson did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of a signature in order to give you a first idea. Variations of this signature exist: do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to authenticate a signature in a formal way.

Expertise signature cartier bresson

Appraising and selling a painting by Henri Cartier-Bresson

If you own a painting or any other sculpture by Henri Cartier-Bresson, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.