Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Barcelona set to auction

Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Barcelona, Spain, 1933 will lead Sotheby’s sale of dealer Eric Franck’s photography collection.

The piece is an early example of Cartier-Bresson’s experiments with photography.

Originally a painter, he bought his first camera (a 35mm Leica) in 1932.

Henric Cartier Barcelona

Henri Cartier-Bresson bought his first camera a year before he took this photograph

Its small size meant he was free to capture life on the street as unobtrusively as possible.

This example shows some early hallmarks of his style in its juxtapositions and strange angles. This new way of seeing would become hugely influential.

The lot is expected to sell for around £40,000-60,000 ($49,748-74,622) in London on May 19.

The piece is one of three so-called "scrapbook prints" by Cartier-Bresson featured in the sale.

The scrapbook prints are a collection of 300 images produced by Cartier-Bresson himself while in hiding during the second world war.

Sotheby’s comments: “Franck's link to Cartier-Bresson, who was married to his sister Martine Franck, also a Magnum [agency] photographer, has no doubt given him special access to and understanding of some of the most iconic works of the 20th century.

“The quality of the scrapbook prints and the variety of the works on offer, are testament to Franck's unique ability not only to select the best work but also to follow his personal convictions, a sign of a truly passionate collector.

“His humanist vision is the common thread that runs through this diverse selection of works.”

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