French humanist photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was born on August 22, 1908, in Chanteloup-en-Brie, Seine-et-Marne, France. He is considered a master of candid photography and an early adopter of 35 mm film.
Young Henri took holiday snapshots with his Box Brownie camera; and later experimented with a 3×4 inch view camera. By 1927, Cartier-Bresson entered a private art school followed by study at the Lhote Academyl the Parisian studio of the Cubist painter and sculptor André Lhote.
Two years later, he met American expatriate photographer Harry Crosby. Embracing the open sexuality offered by Crosby and his wife Caresse, Cartier-Bresson fell into an intense sexual relationship with Caresse that lasted until 1931, two years after Harry Crosby committed suicide.
- This left Cartier-Bresson broken hearted and he escaped from France to the Côte d’Ivoire in French colonial Africa, for some adventure.
- He returned from Africa to France to recuperate from Blackwater Fever and deepened his relationship with the Surrealist artists.
- It was around this time that he bought a Leica camera with 50 mm lens which would accompany him for many years.
- In 1937, Cartier-Bresson married a Javanese dancer, Ratna Mohini.
- Cartier-Bresson died on August 3, 2004.
As for Photographer Cartier-Bresson – I Leica His Art
“Is It Art?”