100 photographs from the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation – Christie’s Auction

November 11, 2011, Paris, France
Christie’s France 9 Avenue Matignon Paris 75008 France
Phone: +33 (0)1 40 76 85 85

Sale: 11th November, 2011 6pm
Viewing Times
Nov 7 10am – 6pm
Nov 8 10am – 6pm
Nov 9 10am – 6pm
Nov 10 10am – 6pm
Nov 11 10am – 6pm

‘We photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth can make them come back again. We cannot develop and print a memory.’

On November 11th Christie’s France will be organising an unmissable sale of 100 photographic prints by Henri Cartier-Bresson from the iconic photographer’s Foundation. This will be the first time that these images from his archives, have been put up for an auction. Henri Cartier Bresson, the master of the “Decisive moment” (1908-2004) changed traditional photo-journalism into an art form. In 1947, the renowned Magnum photo agency was born the founders being Bresson, Robert Capa, David Seymour, William Vandivert and Georges Rodger. In the early 1930s, Henri Cartier Bresson returned from his travels with captivating snapshots, where he had invented his own style – the “decisive moment”. Through this widely know saying he created carefully composed images of everyday life. In 1952, he exhibited his definition of photography in a book with the revealing title “Images à la sauvette” (“images on the fly”, published in English as “The Decisive Moment”).

“This sale is an unprecedented opportunity for collectors and, I’m sure, for museums around the world.” Peter Galassi, former Curator of Photography, the Museum of Modern Art, New York

In 2003 the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation was set up by the photographer himself, Martine Franck and their daughter, Mélanie in order to preserve his exquisite work. Every two years the Foundation also awards the Henri Cartier Bresson Prize, to support creativity. The Foundation’s articles of association include the possibility of selling signed prints in order to raise funds, subject to the strict condition that identical prints are included in the inalienable archive. In order to acquire a larger building, the Foundation is offering works by the photographer for sale for the first time and has selected Christie’s to arrange the auction.

“Very many of the prints being sold are unique on the market, and the source, of course, is indisputable and first hand.” Martine Franck, chairman of the board of directors and steering committee.

The whole of Henri-Cartier Bresson’s career is here in 100 photographs representing his eloquent and precise eye. Prints include both “vintage” prints as well as more recent ones, all originals (i.e. under Henri Cartier-Bresson’s control, as no prints have been produced for collections since his death). All the prints are signed and marked on the back with the Foundation’s stamp. This auction is one not to miss.

Below are some of the images that will be in the auction but to see all the images that will be in the auction and to find out the prices, please click HERE.