I have always been more sensitive to the beauty of the world than to violence and monsters’ (Marc Riboud)
Many of his pictures have reached the farthest corners of the earth in the form of famed reportage portfolios or evocative single images engraved into our collective consciousness. Marc Riboud, the photographer, passed away on 30 August 2016 at the age of 93.
Born in the French city of Lyon, Marc Riboud took his first photographs at the young age of 14. After studying engineering and working in the field for three years, Riboud decided to dedicate his time entirely to photography. He moved to Paris in 1952, where his connection to Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa brought him to Magnum, the agency he would later become the Vice President (1959-1973) and President (1975-1976) of. From 1955 onwards, Riboud travelled extensively and took on reportage assignments for many magazines, such as ‘Life’, ‘Stern’, ‘Geo’ and ‘Paris Match’. His work was honoured with numerous prizes and awards.
Marc Riboud was one of the most highly respected photojournalists of the 20th century. From the beginning, he possessed the ability to strike the ideal balance between assigned and private projects, journalistic missions and personal statements. He may be best remembered for two photographs, ‘Le Peintre de la Tour Eiffel’ (1953) and ‘La Fille à la fleur’, his iconic portrait of a young woman opposing drawn bayonets with a flower in her hands (1967). Marc Riboud and Leica have had a close friendship for many years. His picture, ‘Le Peintre de la Tour Eiffel’ is not only an icon in the history of photography, but also an integral part of ‘36 from 100’, the permanent exhibition that can be seen in the headquarters complex of Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar. The exhibition shows 36 iconic examples of Leica photography from the past 100 years, each of which played a role in the creation of the Leica legend. Marc Riboud was honoured for his life’s work with the Leica Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000; his photographs are currently shown in the successful touring exhibition titled ‘Eyes wide open! 100 years of Leica photography’.
Everyone at Leica Camera AG bids farewell to a close friend and exceptional photographer.