Seville, Spain

1933, Printed Later
Silver Gelatin Photograph

Signed in ink and copyright credit blindstamp in the margin.


Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Seville exemplifies his extraordinary skill at capturing the spontaneity, the mystery, the humor and the universality of the events that passed before him. In a career spanning more than sixty years, Cartier-Bresson’s camera served as his third eye, with which he captured the nuances of humanity and produced some of the most striking and insightful photographs ever published. Seville demonstrates the photographer’s ability to seek out and capture a fleeting moment in time that would have otherwise never bene documented. This photograph was later chosen by Andre Breton to illustrate an imaginary episode of the Spanish Civil War in his book L’Amour fou (Mad Love).

The photograph Seville was taken during Franco’s Civil War in Spain in an environment of partially destroyed, war-torn buildings. In this bleak theatre, Cartier-Bresson focuses on the joy and energy of children playing. He highlights the optimism of the human spirit as it transcends the pessimism of war. Cartier-Bresson is among the most important image makers with dozens and dozens of great photographers all looking back to his work for inspiration. His photographs have become icons of both great photography and the 20th-century cultural history.