Artist: Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908 - 2004).
Title: "Behind the Gare St. Lazare".
Medium: Original vintage photogravure.
Date: 1932. Printed 1953.
Lot Note(s): Stamped with the photographer's name, verso. Edition unknown, presumed small. High-grade archival paper. Printed to the edge of the sheet. Fine, quality printing. Very good to fine condition; affixed to very thin and supple archival acid-free support sheet, not mount/board. Image size: 13 9/16 x 9 1/8 in. (344 x 232 mm). Although Cartier-Bresson noted that he did not prefer any one of his pictures to the others, historians regard “Behind The Gare Saint-Lazare” as his most iconic photograph. He took the black and white photograph in 1932 outside the Saint-Lazar train station in Paris. Color film did not exist at the time and professional photographers rarely used artificial lighting in their works. Regardless, the natural skylight and the black and white lens add elements to the photograph that color and artificial lighting could not. Cartier-Bresson noticed the beautiful frame from the hardly visible architectural buildings in the background to the pool of rainwater in the foreground. Still, he needed a subject. He waited and waited until a busy businessman ran across the pool of water onto a broken and disregarded ladder. He snapped the picture just as the man was in the process of jumping from the ladder back into the water, adding a layer of contrast between the man’s hurry and the water’s stillness. [25078-3-800]