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Henri Cartier-Bresson: A Biography

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  129 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The twentieth century was the century of the image and Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) was the eye of the century. Through the decades, this eye focused on Africa in the 1920s, the tragic fate of the Spanish Republicans, and the victory of the Chinese Communists. It was Cartier-Bresson who fixed in our minds the features of his contemporaries: Giacometti and Sartre as ch ...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published November 17th 2005 by Thames Hudson (first published 1999)
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Nov 04, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: photography
Considering how interested I am in photography, I actually read very few biographies of individual photographers.

This book reminded me why I read so few...

I don't know, but I bet that most writers who write biographies of photographers are NOT themselves photographers...Nor curators or art historians or collectors. Not people who, through training or practice, are accomplished at reading or making images.

At least, that seems to be the case here, with this biographer. There are the factual errors
Jul 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I had read Assouline's Hergé biography and what I remembered from it was Hergé, not Assouline at all....I still wondered if that was good or not when I picked up this one from the shelf.
Everyone knows that Assouline is a good reader and critic but that doesnt make one automatically an excellent "plume".
The book ended up being a good intro to Cartier, though I can't pretend I knew much about his life or -even- his work before I read it, and I can't pretend I want to know more about the person now
Greg Goodale
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
This book feels like the author has barely skimmed through HCB's life and is therefore disappointingly superficial, sketchy even. It seems based largely on interviews with HCB himself, occasionally buffered by additional research, but no sign of other interviews. This results in some gaps, possibly areas HCB did not wish to discuss or did not recall. The most glaring are his involvement with the Surrealists, his escape from prisoner-of-war camp, his departure from Magnum and his relationship wit ...more
Nilson R.
concentrating more on the person than the photographer and more on HCB's career more than his most famous works, this isn't definitely any coffee table book: but a detailed, insightful biography written by a friend.
Jul 03, 2008 rated it liked it
I found too much of the author's personal thrill with being allowed access to Cartier-Bresson, and not necessarily that much new has been sitting half-read for a long time, so that tells you something.
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Biografia maravilhosa, não apenas pela vida sem paralelo do mestre Cartier-Bresson, mas pela escrita cheia de detalhes históricos de Pierre Assouline, autor que pode conviver com Bresson por 5 anos antes de sua morte.
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Many times, rather than a biography, this book seems like the comment of the author on the life of this photographer. It is also a heavy reading.
Bob Peru
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
hcb. hero. this bio is very french.
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