William Faulkner, Oxford, Etats-Unis, 1947


Gelatin silver print

35.6 x 23.9 cm (14 x 9 7/16 in.)

The American writer William Faulkner is the subject of this unconventional portrait. He is pictured standing, off-center, looking at something outside of the frame, turning his back on his two dogs shown in the lower half of the picture. The dogs are given almost as much importance as him in the composition. In a movement opposite to his, their attention is fixed on something different.

Henri Cartier-Bresson took this picture in 1947 during a long trip in the United States, two years before Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He has been commissioned by the fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar a series of portraits of writers and artists living in the United States. He has chosen to capture his model in a spontaneous manner, in his private residence in Mississippi , with his dogs. The “decisive moment” he always looks for in his photographs happens when one of the dogs elegantly stretches out.

William Faulkner, Oxford, États-Unis, 1947 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.