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Portrait of Henri Cartier-Bresson
No size
Gelatin silver print
1947

Arnold Newman popularized the style of environmental portraiture by capturing his distinguished subjects in their own surroundings and using elements within those settings to elucidate their personalities. In this black-and-white image of famed photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, Newman selected a stark yet descriptive background for the portrait. Standing slightly off-center, Cartier-Bresson is seen engaging the camera directly. His head is framed by the jagged edge of chipped cement that once covered the now exposed brick wall behind him. Clutching the right lapels of his jackets, the angle of his elbow draws the eye to the numeral three painted within a square on the brick surface. Cartier-Bresson was known for his photojournalism, making Newman’s choice of settings—the urban streets—an appropriate homage.