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Scrap-metal dealers' mart, Paris

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (Made)

  • Date:

    1953 (Made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin silver print

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

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

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 in the foreground of which is a pile used goods, including crates, tyres and a 'Torpedo' motorbike. In the midst of this junk, a baby sleeps serenely. There is a crowd of onlookers in the middle-ground.

Place of Origin

Paris (Made)


1953 (Made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print


Length: 29.5 cm, Height: 39.5 cm

Descriptive line

Black and white photograph by Cartier-Bresson depicting piles of used goods, including crates, tyres and a 'Torpedo' motorbike, juxtaposed with a sleeping baby in the foreground. Paris, 1953.




Silver; Photography

Subjects depicted

Buildings; Trade; Motorbike; Tree; Pole; Tyres; Sleep; Street; Baby; Crates; Scrap metal




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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