Henri Cartier-Bresson, widely considered the father of photojournalism, visited Pondicherry in April 1950. Bresson’s self-commissioned collection of 119 photographs, including portraits of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and life in the Ashram, taken during this trip, have remained largely obscure until now.
Several of his photos have now found their way to the book Mastering The Lens: Before and After Cartier-Bresson in Pondicherry.
Visual artists had been visiting the region since the 17th century, writes Rahaab Allana, curator for the book. “The arrival of commercial photographers Bourne and Shepherd, or indeed mysterious French photographer, Charles Moyne uncovers an expansive city of citadels and churches,” she continues to say in the book, which includes photographs taken by several other photographers such as Tara Jauhar, Venkatesh Shirodkar, Vidyavrata and Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya.
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