Henri Cartier-Bresson photographs highlight Christie's at $400,000

On October 4-5, Christie's will present its sale of Gifts to a Master Printer: Photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson, in New York.

Henri Cartier-Bresson Christie's
Behind the Gave Saint-Lazare (left) gave birth to The Decisive Moment

The 32 photographs have been described as an "important and very personal collection" by the auction house, as they were once part of the collection of prominent printer Voja Mitrovic, after being gifted to him personally by Cartier-Bresson.

Mitrovic is known as one of the greatest photographic printers in history, developing works for Cartier-Bresson as well as leading figures such as Helmut Newton, Man Ray and Peter Lindbergh. He worked for the renowned Parisian photographic laboratory Picto, created by Pierre Gassman in 1950, for over three decades.

The works have been consigned to auction by Peter Turnley, who worked alongside Mitrovic at Picto during the 1980s. Following the death of Cartier-Bresson in 2004, Mitrovic sold the collection to Turnley, knowing his appreciation for the artist's work and his desire to share the photographs with the world.

Cartier-Bresson is widely regarded as the father of photojournalism, and some of his most recognisable and iconic images will feature in the sale. Leading among the stunning array is Behind the Gave Saint-Lazare, France, 1932, which is perhaps his best-known work.

Pioneering the photographic concept "The Decisive Moment", the image gave birth to a tradition that has become commonplace in modern photography. It will sell with a $30,000-50,000 estimate.

"The decisive moment, it is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organisation of forms which gives that event its proper expression," said Cartier-Bresson of the concept.

Also featuring will be On the Banks of the Marne, 1938, which has a $25,000-35,000 estimate. This image sold at Sotheby's in 2006 for $96,000, suggesting that the estimate given at Christie's could be a conservative one.

Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently offering a superb item from Yousef Karsh, the photographer known for his portraits of Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein. We have a signed copy of Karsh a Fifty-Year Retrospective, which is in perfect condition.

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