Cover image for Tête à tête
Tête à tête
Cartier-Bresson, Henri, 1908-2004.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown and Company, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly illustrations ; 31 cm
General Note:
"A Bulfinch Press book."

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TR680 .C3824 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



Over the last half century Henri Cartier-Bresson has photographed some of the most famous icons of the twentieth century, those few people among millions whose images pass into history. Tete a Tete is a remarkable arrangement of his most memorable portraits, including Pablo Picasso, Truman Capote, Marilyn Monroe, Lucien Freud, William Faulkner, Robert Kennedy, Che Guevara, Martin Luther King Jr., Coco Chanel, and the Dalai Lama. Beyond these famous names there are also anonymous portraits, chosen for their striking and unusual features, and a selection of pencil drawings, including a self-portrait. Cartier-Bresson supervised the design of the book and the juxtaposition of all the photographs. The result is a distinguished collection of his work, diverse in its range of extraordinary and ordinary personalities from the 1930s to the 1990s. Tete a Tete reveals Cartier-Bresson as a photographer who is as skillful in recording the subtleties of the individual portrait as he is renowned for his masterful ability to capture the decisive moment.

Author Notes

Henri Carrier-Bresson studied painting in the 1920s & committed himself to photography in the early 1930s. In 1940 he was captured & imprisoned by the Germans before escaping to join the Paris underground. In 1947 he was one of the founders of the photography agency Magnum. His work is featured in the collections of several of the world's most prominent museums.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Two of the greatest photographers of their or any other generation, Cartier-Bresson (b. 1908) and Halsman (1906^-79) could hardly be more different in their artistic approaches and temperaments. Serious, naturalistic, and documentary, Cartier-Bresson characteristically catches his subjects at just the right moment in terms of their physical and expressive attitudes and their positions within the photographic frame; artifice appears to be minimal in his work, and he famously does not crop, nor let others trim, his images. Halsman's work, on the other hand, seems artificial even at its most casual and is often best when most calculated, as in his many collaborations with Salvador Dali, several of which enliven the new retrospective of his portraits. Halsman loved to have fun--a predilection best expressed in his requesting his subjects to jump for the camera, with delightful results ranging from young Anthony Perkins' modern-dance-like kick-jump to poker-faced old Judge Learned Hand looking like he has levitated straight upward. Celebrity portraiture was a Halsman specialty, and he made some of the most familiar images of the stars of his time, as well as images, especially that of Humphrey Bogart in this book, that should be better known than they are. Cartier-Bresson's famous subjects are artists and writers more than entertainers and politicians, and he also photographed plenty of nonfamous persons--such as two prostitutes in Mexico City in 1934, an old eunuch from China's last imperial court, and an Orthodox Jew in the Warsaw ghetto in 1931--whose faces rank among the most haunting in the book. --Ray Olson

Library Journal Review

Cartier-Bresson is well known as a master of portrait photography, a visual detective unraveling the mystery of people by revealing so much in his images. Whether his gift is the conscious convergence of people, environments, and light or an amazing coincidence of these elements when he is present, his work is familiar, even comforting. These portraits are how we think of Sartre, Picasso, Sontag, and others. Cartier-Bresson also captures anonymous people who present themselves to his camera with a relaxed honesty of self and spirit. The late art historian E.H. Gombrich's introductory text is respectful, analytical, and a valuable asset to those who will wander through this bound gallery of the photographer's best work. Perhaps the nicest surprise is the inclusion of Cartier-Bresson's pencil drawings, which show the artist's skills in another medium. Recommended.‘David Bryant, New Canaan P.L., CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.