Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Sumatra 1949

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Sumatra (made)

  • Date:

    1949 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cartier-Bresson, Henri, born 1908 - died 2004 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin silver print

  • Museum number:

    PH.773-1978

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 918, box C

The Victoria and Albert Museum has over 440 photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), a French photographer who is considered to be one of the fathers of photojournalism and masters of candid photography. He sought to capture the 'everyday' in his photographs and took great interest in recording human activity. He wrote, "For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to 'give a meaning' to the world, one has to feel involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression."

As a reporter and co-founder of the Magnum photography agency, Cartier-Bresson accepted his responsibility to supply information to a world in a hurry. He documented the liberation of Paris, the collapse of the Nationalist regime in China, Gandhi's funeral and the partitioning of Berlin. Cartier-Bresson helped develop the street photography style that has influenced generations of photographers that followed.

Physical description

Black and white photograph of a rice paddy field in Sumatra, an island in western Indonesia. In the foreground, a worker stands with her back to the camera. She is looking across the wet field to a small group of workers, various buildings, palm trees and crops of a different type.

Place of Origin

Sumatra (made)

Date

1949 (made)

Artist/maker

Cartier-Bresson, Henri, born 1908 - died 2004 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

Length: 39.5 cm, Height: 29.5 cm

Descriptive line

Black and white photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson depicting figures in a paddy field in Sumatra. Indonesia, 1949.

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Silver; Photography

Subjects depicted

Work; Water; Buildings; Palm trees; Agriculture; Fields; Landscape; Workers; Rice

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.