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Henri CARTIER-BRESSON

French Henri CARTIER-BRESSON

French photographer considered to be the father of modern photojournalism

Source :  Alain GARRIC

Born: on August 22, 1908 in Chanteloup-en-Brie, France
Died: on August 03, 2004 in Montjustin, France


Biography

Cartier-Bresson was born in Chanteloup-en-Brie, Seine-et-Marne, France, the eldest of five children. His father was a wealthy textile manufacturer whose Cartier-Bresson thread was a staple of French sewing kits. His mother's family were cotton merchants and landowners from Normandy, where he spent part of his childhood. The Cartier-Bresson family lived in a bourgeois neighborhood in Paris, near the Europe Bridge, and provided him with financial support to develop his interests in photography in a more independent manner than many of his contemporaries. He also sketched in his spare time. He described his family as "socialist Catholics".

As a young boy, Cartier-Bresson owned a Box Brownie, using it for taking holiday snapshots; he later experimented with a 3×4 inch view camera. He was raised in a traditional French bourgeois fashion, required to address his parents as vous rather than the familiar tu. His father assumed that his son would take up the family business, but Henri was headstrong and was appalled by this prospect.

Cartier-Bresson studied in Paris at the École Fénelon, a Catholic school. After unsuccessful attempts to learn music, his uncle Louis, a gifted painter, introduced Cartier-Bresson to oil painting. "Painting has been my obsession from the time that my 'mythical father', my father's brother, led me into his studio during the Christmas holidays in 1913, when I was five years old. There I lived in the atmosphere of painting; I inhaled the canvases." Uncle Louis' painting lessons were cut short, however, when he died in World War I.

In 1927, at the age of 19, Cartier-Bresson entered a private art school and the Lhote Academy, the Parisian studio of the Cubist painter and sculptor André Lhote. Lhote's ambition was to unify the Cubists' approach to reality with classical artistic forms, and to link the French classical tradition of Nicolas Poussin and Jacques-Louis David to Modernism. Cartier-Bresson also studied painting with society portraitist Jacques Émile Blanche. During this period he read Dostoevsky, Schopenhauer, Rimbaud, Nietzsche, Mallarmé, Freud, Proust, Joyce, Hegel, Engels and Marx. Lhote took his pupils to the Louvre to study classical artists and to Parisian galleries to study contemporary art. Cartier-Bresson's interest in modern art was combined with an admiration for the works of the Renaissance—of masterpieces from Jan van Eyck, Paolo Uccello, Masaccio and Piero della Francesca. Cartier-Bresson often regarded Lhote as his teacher of photography without a camera.

Source :  © Copyright Wikipédia authors - This article is under licence CC BY-SA 3.0 .

See Also :

- Category Photographer