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Willy Ronis

France Born in: 1910 Famous artist

Willy Ronis was born in 1910 in Paris, near the Butte Montmartre. He first wanted to become a composer, but, after his military service, his father who was ill asked him to help him in his photo studio. This is when he takes his first steps in the art of photography.

The rise of the Front Populaire in 1936 lead Willy Ronis, a young leftist, to take his first snapshots of workers' protests.

Willy Ronis is a major figure in the history of French photography and one of the eminent representatives of humanist photography. Willy Ronis began his career in the '20s, in Paris. He worked as a photo-journalist in the capital, taking today's most famous photographs of Paris - and as a reporter for social issues (he covered the strikes at Citroen-Javel and the return of the the Second World War prisoners). Willy Ronis was awarded the gold medal at the Venice Biennial in 1957.

He died in September 2009. He had stopped taking photos in 2001 and had donated his entire body of work to the French state.

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