It’s almost unthinkable that any of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photographs could ever have gone unpublished. The father of modern photojournalism had such a natural and easy understanding of his craft that all of his images offer the viewer snippets of an intriguing story – a slice of everyday narrative – rendered with the kind of precision that hoards of photographers since have sought to mimic.
But in fact this is not the case. Until this month his sensational shots of the Vélodrome D’Hiver, from Paris 1957, have been lost to all but the most privileged eyes at Magnum. But this month they’re available for all to see in Rouleur 34.
Accompanied by an illuminating article on the Vél D’Hiv and a background on Cartier-Bresson himself the images offer an unprecedented look at Parisian velodrome racing and the accompanying glamour and spectacle – aspects that have been all but lost from today’s version of the sport. Even if bikes aren’t your thing you can’t fail to appreciate the remarkable skill of a photographic talent that has yet to be matched.
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