Marc Riboud

Portrait of Marc   Riboud

War photo-correspondent and traveling photographer Marc Riboud (24÷06÷1923, Lyon — 30/08/2016, Paris) is one of the major figures in 20th-century international photography. He joined the prestigious Magnum photo-agency at the invitation of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa.

While covering major military conflicts, in particular the Vietnam War and the Algerian Independence War, Marc Riboud was always guided by his visual quest for the beau visage du monde”, to quote Albert Camus, the world’s beautiful face”. He liked to quote the definition of a photographer by Walker Evans: a joyful sensualist’, since the human eye plays with the senses rather than the mind.

Marc Riboud took his first photograph with a camera gifted to him by his father at the French Exposition Universelle in 1937 — which might explain his later passion for travel and for Asia. After fighting with the French Resistance during World War II, he remained involved in the defence of humanitarian and egalitarian causes.

Capturing the life of monks, pilgrims and villagers in the Angkorian sites during the 1960s, then again in the 1990s, Marc Riboud published the book Angkor, Sérénité bouddhique, with texts by Jean Lacouture, Jean Boisselier and Madeleine Giteau.

  • See the bio- and bibliographical note by Roland Quilici here (in French). 
  • In May-September 2021, the Paris Musée Guimet (MNAAG) held the first-ever retrospective of Marc Riboud’s body-of-work, Histoires Possibles.
  • Watch Ruxandra Annonier’s L’Angkor Mystique de Marc Riboud, 2022 Arte Documentary (Etienne Boisson, Director of Photography).