Henri Cartier Bresson was born in France on August 22, 1908. Bressonís passion for photography began in his early childhood. The first camera he owned was a Kodak Box Brownie that he typically used to take snapshots of his family on holiday, before moving onto using a 3◊4 inch view camera. Henri was also surrounded with the arts as a child, although his family business was in the wealthy textile trade, Henriís uncle, Louis was a painter and a great influence to the young Henri. Louis introduced Henri to oil painting, where his passion for painting grew.
Henri Cartier Bressonís love of painting saw him at 19 in 1927 go onto study painting at an art college and the Lhote Academy. The teaching at the Academy proved invaluable it helped grow Bresson's interests in the modern approach to art through particularly through examining paintings of the Renaissance era. However Cartier Bresson's time at the academy he grew despondent of the rather vigorous approach and teachings. Later these theoretical teachings became of great importance to Bresson in tackling his own approach to photography.
As the new surrealist movement in art began (in 1924) Bresson was attracted by the way that the surrealists used the subconscious in their work, but Bresson himself could not find an avenue to express through painting, his own developing theories and concepts. Henri destroyed most of his paintings from this time, and it wasn't until some time later Henri soon realised which medium could best express himself with...
Read on to discover what it was that gave Henri Cartier Bresson new inspiration to pick up his camera!
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