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Synopsis: "No one in the twentieth century created more instantly recognizable images than Cartier-Bresson."—Denver Post

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) was perhaps the finest and most influential image maker of the twentieth century, and his portraits are among his best-known work. Over a fifty year period, he photographed some of the most eminent personalities of the era, as well as ordinary people, chosen as subjects because of their striking and unusual features.

In 2003, the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, which was created to provide a permanent home for his collected works, opened in Paris. This book is published to coincide with the first exhibition at the Fondation that is drawn entirely from those archives, and it features both well-known images and previously unpublished portraits.

Each portrait has been chosen because it perfectly embodies Cartier-Bresson's description of what he was attempting to communicate in his photographs: "I'm seeking above all an inner silence. I am trying to translate the personality and not an expression." The portraits reproduced here—discreet, without artifice, their subjects frozen in time—confirm once more the singular gift of Cartier-Bresson who instinctively knew in which revealing fraction of a second to click the shutter. 100 illustrations.

About the Author: Agnès Sire is the Director of the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson. Jean-Luc Nancy is a French philosopher whose books include Being Singular Plural.

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