• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2155


    31 March 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 47


    Judith Martinez Ortega, Mexico, 1934

    Price Realised  


    Judith Martinez Ortega, Mexico, 1934
    gelatin silver print
    titled and numbered 'M31A' in pencil (on the verso)
    5 x 3¼in. (12.7 x 8.3cm.)

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    In 1934, Henri Cartier-Bresson spent several months immersed in the rich cultural milieu of Mexico City where he befriended the photographer, Manuel Alvarez Bravo and met Judith Martinez Ortega (1908-1985). She was an art collector, writer and champion of Mexicana for over fifty years. He depicted her in this rare, possibly unique early print, in a combination of reportage with a surrealist undertone, characteristic of his style at the time. The gesture of outstretched arms and the juxtaposition with a dead or sleeping figure occur often in his work. This print was made no later than 1946 when he prepared the retrospective compilation of his work to date in his 'Scrapbook'.