Willy Ronis saw Paris like no one else, through the eyes of the people and for the people. Flammarion celebrates the French “Humanist photographer” with a new paperback book which features 100 black & white photographs by the artist and focusing on the City of Love.
Parisian-born Ronis bought his first Rolleiflex camera in 1937 at the age of 27. He trained his camera on the working-class neighborhoods of Belleville and Ménilmontant, and strolled the streets of his beloved city, capturing the essence of everyday life in Paris. He memoralized the urban landscape—a lamp-lit bridge or the leafy horse chestnut trees that border the Seine—and typical Parisians—in the metro, sunbathing on the Ile de la Cité, ice skating in the park.
Awarded the Venice Biennale Gold Medal in 1957 and the subject of numerous exhibitions around the world including MoMA’s exhibition The Family of Man (1955), Postwar European Photography (1953) and Five French Photographers (1951–52), Ronis’ photographs have appeared in prestigious publications such as Life, Vogue and Time. A central figure in the “humanist photography” movement, Ronis pioneered the medium of photography alongside Brassaï and Robert Doisneau for example.
From the iconic photograph depicting a Parisian gamin running with an oversized baguette, a determined factory worker protesting for her rights, lovers embracing in front of the Eiffel Tower, to a gaggle of children in a bumper car tangle, this pocket volume book of high-quality reproductions is a tribute to both the legendary artist and to Paris.
Images: © PARIS: RONIS, Flammarion, 2018
and Le Petit Parisien, 1952 (© Ministère de la Culture – Médiathèque de l’architecture et du patrimoine, dist. RMN-GP, donation Willy Ronis)