The Italian Almanac

street life in Rome

Italian News - June 16

Roman streetlife in the 1950s and portraits of artists, actors and intellectuals are combined in a new exhibit of work by one of the 20th-century's most important photographers, Henri Cartier-Bresson. A wide selection of original prints are on display for the first time in the Italian capital in a show that features little-known images from his trips to Rome as well as famous shots of celebrities.

The first section, dedicated to Italy, contains two images from an early trip to the Eternal City in 1933, but the bulk of the work looks at the capital in the 1950s. Cartier-Bresson's flair as a photojournalist and snapshot style, capturing fleeting moments using natural light and without preparation, are displayed to full effect in this section.

The images depict children playing in the streets, artisans at work and deserted piazzas, ranging from sun-drenched courtyards in the heart of the capital through to the early stages of construction on the city outskirts, with the beautiful Italian countryside in the background. A great many of the photographs in the first section were unearthed from the archives of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation especially for the exhibit.

Henri Cartier-Bresson. Omaggio a Roma-Ritratti (Henri Cartier-Bresson. Homage to Rome-Portraits) runs in the Museum of Rome in Palazzo Braschi until October 29.