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Manhattan, New York downtown

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Manhattan (made)

  • Date:

    1946 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cartier-Bresson, born 1908 - died 2004 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver bromide print

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case X, shelf 918, box L

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 nine women of various ages, gathered on the pavement of a Manhattan street, relaxing and conversing. An elderly man approaches and in the foreground two small dogs play with one another. The scene is flanked by a number of shop windows, all of which are out-of-focus.

Place of Origin

Manhattan (made)


1946 (made)


Cartier-Bresson, born 1908 - died 2004 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Silver bromide print


Length: 39.5 cm, Height: 29.5 cm

Descriptive line

Black and white photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson depicting nine women seated on benches on the pavement of a Manhattan street. New York, 1946.




Photography; Silver

Subjects depicted

Man; Women; Dogs; Window; Street; Elderly; New York; Leisure; Play; Shop; Pavement; Conversation; Manhattan



Collection code


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