This December, Sotheby’s New York is delighted to present The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson: Photographs from the Personal Collection of Peter Fetterman. Highlighting six decades of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s impressive oeuvre, the 95 photographs featured in this auction include beloved images such as Behind the Gare Saint Lazare, Paris; Hyères, France; and Siphnos, Greece, among many others. Cartier-Bresson’s passion for photography was cemented in 1932 when he acquired a 35mm Leica, the handheld camera that revolutionized twentieth-century photography and freed him to photograph spontaneously anytime, anywhere. This manner of photographing ‘on the sly’ – his first book was called Images à la sauvette (1952), which roughly translates to ‘images on the sly’ – would become his trademark. For the rest of his illustrious career Cartier-Bresson traveled the world, making images that would leave an indelible mark on the history of photography.
Sotheby’s is honored to have been entrusted with this treasure trove of Cartier-Bresson photographs from the collection of Peter Fetterman, noted gallerist, collector, and longtime friend of the photographer. Nearly all photographs on offer were acquired directly from Cartier-Bresson by Mr. Fetterman. The auction will be open for bidding from December 9th to the 16th, and a public exhibition will be on view in our York Avenue galleries from December 11th to the 15th.
Bodies in Motion
The Sacred and the Profane
The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson in the Press
Henri Cartier-Bresson earned a large part of his living from fees associated with the reproduction of his images in the periodical press. Many of the images on offer in this auction were originally used to illustrate such articles – below are a few examples of those publications.
Dessau, Germany, 1945Reproduced in:
‘A Child in a Bottleneck', Harper's Bazaar, February 1946, pp. 154-55
Sale of Gold in the Last Days of the Kuomintang, Shanghai, China, 1948Reproduced in:
'The City of Despair,' Illustrated, 22 January 1949, pp. 8-9
Sumatra, Indonesia, 1949Reproduced in:
'The New Indonesia,' LIFE, 13 February 1950, pp. 92-3
Dior Fashion Show, Avenue Montaigne, 1953Reproduced in:
Anne Scott-James and Henri Cartier-Bresson, ‘Dior Day in Paris,’ Picture Post, 7 March 1953, pp. 18-9
(slight variant of the photograph on offer in this auction)
Gathering of Delegations from all over the Soviet Union to Celebrate the Day of Sports at the Dynamo Stadium, Moscow, Russia, 1954Reproduced in:
‘Le peuple russe: Première Partie: La Vie à Moscou,’ Paris Match, 29 January 1955, pp. 56-7
Houston, Texas, USA, 1957Reproduced in:
Raymond Cartier, ‘Où en sont les Américains,’ Paris Match, no. 474, 10 May 1958
Bankers Trust, Manhattan, New York, 1960Reproduced in:
Bankers Trust Company, New York, 1960 Annual Report, 1960, cover
Henri Matisse, Vence, France, 1944Reproduced in:
‘Matisse in a Masterpiece,’ LIFE, vol. 48, no. 3, 25 January 1960, pp. 8-9