Serving as a photographic counterpoint to classic impressionist masterpieces such as Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe by Manet and Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte by Seurat this photograph is entitled Sunday on the banks of the Marne.
Henri Cartier-Bresson captures two French couples lunching on the riverbank overlooking a boat and what looks like a fising pontoon. Middle aged, overweight, eating well, drinking wine, unglamorous but oh so very French at the same time.
To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.
In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little, human detail can become a Leitmotiv.
Born August 22nd 1908 Cartier-Bresson was a pioneer of 35mm photographer and a master of candid and street photography. He was heavily influenced by Surrealism and the idea of using the subconscious to dictate the flow of art. His early forays into art were as a painter and he gradually moved towards photography.
Cartier-Bresson struggled to find his métier until he saw the photograph of Three Boys at Lake Tanganyika by Martin Munkácsi and his eyes were opened.
I suddenly understood that photography can fix eternity in a moment.
Photography is not like painting Cartier-Bresson said in an interview in 1957. There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.
Fishing in the Seine (1883)
Georges Seurat, born Dec 2nd 1859 devised two artistic techniques. Divisionism was founded around 1884 as chromoluminarism and involves combining colours to achieve effects instead of mixing and blending the pigments.
This was then realised by Seurat in the form of pointillism which uses tiny dots of colour in a technique which then became commercially realised in print technology.
Since today is a Sunday let’s have a sunday painting:
A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by Seurat