Calle Cuauhtemoctzin, Mexico City

Calle Cuauhtemoctzin, Mexico City


Henri Cartier-Bresson

(French, 1908-2004)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 35.7 x 23.7 cm (14 1/16 x 9 5/16 in.); Matted: 61 x 50.8 cm (24 x 20 in.)

Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund 2000.122



Cartier-Bresson's landmark photographs from 1932-34 represent one of the great, concentrated moments of creativity and innovation in modern art. During this period, while traveling primarily in Italy, Spain, and Mexico, he devised a new photographic style that captured the flux and spontaneity of human experience. Cartier-Bresson's use of the flexible, hand-held Leica camera allowed him to synthesize his passions for life and art. One of his most iconic and seminal photographs, this image of a prostitute was taken in Mexico City, and captures the open sensuality of the young woman's face and body. Leaning out of a narrow opening, her piercing eyes stare directly and, unabashedly into the lens. The photograph's geometry, rich textures, and strong suggestion of space illustrate Cartier-Bresson's ability to instantaneously manage light and composition, intuitively capturing the "decisive moment" in candid pictures of people and events.

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