Albert Camus, Paris, France, 1944
Gelatin silver print
24.7 x 35.8 cm (9 3/4 x 14 1/8 in.)
Against a blurry backdrop, writer Albert Camus faces the camera sideways with an alert, almost bemused gaze, a cigarette in his mouth, his coat collar turned up.
Already known as a photoreporter when he returns to Paris after the war, Henri Cartier-Bresson develops a passion for photographic portrait, a genre in which he excels thanks to his ability to capture what he terms “the inner silence of a consenting victim.” He chooses as models personalities he admires, most of them artists or intellectuals. In this portrait of Camus, who at the time is glorified as a Résistance hero, the photographer manages to capture on the fly his model's troubling beauty.
Albert Camus, Paris, France, 1944 is presented for the first time as part of the Pinault Collection in the monographic exhibition Henri Cartier-Bresson. Le Grand Jeu at Palazzo Grassi in Venice, in 2020.