, whose spellbinding images of war, protest, and everyday life captured both the travails and triumphs of his generation, died this Tuesday in Paris at the age of 93.
After quitting a factory job in Lyon at the age of 28, the quiet, unassuming Riboud went on to shoot some of the most memorable images of his time. Encouraged by the almighty father of photojournalism
(who later invited Riboud to join his famed Magnum
collective), he traversed the globe, capturing a changing political and social landscape. He was one of the only photographers allowed access to both North and South Vietnam in the 1960s as well as one of the first Westerners to photograph Communist China.
One of his most searing photographs ended up in the pages of TIME Magazine in 1967: an image of 17-year-old high-school student Jan Rose Kasmir in the thick of an anti-Vietnam War protest at the Pentagon. In it, she holds a serene gaze and a single chrysanthemum inches away from a legion of soldiers whose bayonets nearly graze her body. The photograph, Flower Child, crystallized a moment when extreme tension and tenderness mingled. This combination powers much of Riboud’s most iconic work.
“What was so amazing about Marc was his true commitment to peace,” Kasmir told Artsy upon the news of Riboud’s passing. “He lived that commitment through his involvement with the French Resistance, risking his life fighting for freedom. After the war he worked to help Vichy France regain its dignity from the Nazis by remembering who and what its citizens were as people, reminding Parisians not to forget their magic and dignity.” Within Kasmir, Riboud instilled a sense of duty as a peacemaker that she carries with her to this day. “What he gave me was the strength to believe in myself,” she said. “Because of Marc I have understood my role and dedication to carry on the tradition passed from him to me. This is a commitment I do not take lightly.”