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Leningrad. Peter and Paul's fortress on the Neva river. 1973

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Russia (made)

  • Date:

    1973 (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 J

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 taken from a low viewpoint, looking up a wall of the Peter and Paul Fortress in Leningrad. In the foreground, against the side of the wall parallel to the picture plane, a partially-clad middle-aged man stands with his back to the camera, looking directly at the wall.

Place of Origin

Russia (made)


1973 (made)


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

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print


Height: 38 cm Mount, Width: 53 cm Mount, Height: 30 cm Image, Width: 40 cm Image

Descriptive line

Black and white photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson depicting a man in small bathing trunks, pressed against the wall of the Peter and Paul Fortress in Leningrad (Saint Petersburg). Russia, 1973.




Silver; Photography

Subjects depicted

Visitors; Horizon; Bridge; Leisure; Wall; Fortress; Path; Naked; Man; Recreation




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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