Calle Cuauhtemotzin, Mexico City - Henri Cartier-Bresson

Calle Cuauhtemotzin, Mexico City

Henri Cartier-Bresson


Calle Cuauhtemotzin, Mexico City


Vintage silver print, signed in red pencil gone over in pen and ink and inscribed on the reverse

6 3/4 x 9 3/4 in.

Originally given to Edmund Wilson ( 1895-1972) in 1935 by the photographer who met and befriended the writer in New York.
Wilson’s third wife, Elena Mumm Thornton ( 1906-1976), received the photograph. She was the actress Alexandra Stewart’s sister’s best friend, circa 1960.
Gift to Alexandra Stewart

Henri Cartier-Bresson was 26 when he first arrived in Mexico, having signed up for a French ethnographic mission to photograph the construction of the Pan-American Highway. But he was most drawn to Mexico, where the trend for surrealism had taken hold. This was not his first trip abroad. He’d travelled from France to Spain and Italy, and an exploratory trip to France’s African colony the Ivory Coast was cut short by blackwater fever. On each occasion, he had received little in the way of recognition or encouragement. Mexico, he decided, was to be a demonstration of what he could really do with a camera. When the organiser of the expedition suddenly absconded with all their money, Cartier-Bresson was left to fend for himself in Mexico City. He worked as a press photographer and took photographs of the seedier parts of the city. In March 1935, Cartier-Bresson’s Mexico photography was exhibited at the Palacio de Bellas Artes with Mexican photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo.