New York: Simon & Schuster in Collaboration with Éditions Verve, . Small folio. Decorated boards after a design by Matisse. Illustrated with 126 photographs (some double spread). An unusually nice copy, near fine, in slightly tanned dust jacket (replicating Matisse’s design) with a few smudges at the extreme lower edges, a short closed tear at the top edge of the front panels, and a few short tears and a small creased snag at the edges of the rear panel. Item #WRCLIT74001
First edition, US issue, printed in France. Accompanied by the separate pp. quarto leaflet printing the captions to the photographs in English. The design was undertaken by Teriade, with the collaboration of Marguerite Lang, and the photographs engraved and printed in heliogravure by Draeger Frères. This state of the dust jacket prints comments on the rear inner flap by Monroe Wheeler, Philippe Halsman, Jacob Deschin, et al. In his important introduction to this collection, one of the defining books in the field of photography from the immediate post WWII years, Cartier- Bresson sums up the principles that would inspire the work of countless photographers for the next half-century or more: “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment ... To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression." The initial edition consisted of approximately 3000 French language copies and 7000 English language copies, and like any number of significant books, received highly positive reviews but sold only a slow trickle of copies. Because of the nature of the binding and dust jacket, copies in agreeable condition, as here, are few and far between. The first faithful reprint was finally published in late 2014.