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Marc Riboud (French, 1923-2016)

Photography

Birth Place: Lyon (Rhône, Rhône-Alpes), France

Biography:

Who was photographer Marc Riboud?

Marc Riboud was a French photographer and journalist who is best known for his photo essays of Asia. He produced four of these large-scale projects during his lifetime, The Three Banners of China, Visions of China, In China, and Face of North Vietnam. That’s not to say that Riboud didn’t produce other critically acclaimed work -- his piece Eiffel Tower Painter (1953) is one of his most famous works, as is the famous The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet (1967) which showed the clash between American anti-war protestors and the national guard in Washington DC.

Above all else Riboud was able to capture the spirit of the times with his photography, his pieces are instantly recognizable, telling a story in a single image. As such, Riboud’s work from the 1950s and 1960s was highly celebrated. He has won the Lucie Award, the Sony World Photography Award, and the Prix Nadar. His photos have been exhibited in some of the best museums in the world including the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Photographers Gallery in London, and the Musee d’Art Moderne among others.

What kind of photographs does Marc Riboud make?

Marc Riboud was a photographer and journalist. He often shot in black and white, with natural lighting. Even so, Riboud’s pieces have a flare for the dramatic and storytelling. His images like The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet and Bullet in the Head (1970) are some of the most iconic imagery surrounding the turbulent events of the 1960s and the Vietnam war. Riboud’s composition is flawless, emphasizing verticality and the naturalist landscapes surrounding his subjects. It is this attention to detail that elevates the photographs by Riboud, making them a must-have for many collectors.

How did photographer Marc Riboud get started?

Marc Riboud was born in Saint-Genis-Laval in 1923. The son of middle-class parents, he began shooting photos sometime in 1937 when he was given his father’s Kodak camera. In World War II, Riboud was active in the French resistance that experience would inform the art he created for the rest of his life. After the war, he studied engineering at the Ecole Centrale de Lyon and graduated in 1948. Until 1951 he worked as an engineer, but a week-long vacation to the South of France (where Riboud took several dozen pictures) inspired him to chase his photography dreams. He moved to Paris where he met the founders of Magnum Photos. By 1953, he was fully employed by the influential agency. Over the next two decades, this is where he would do some of his best and most influential work.

How much are Marc Riboud’s photographs worth?

Marc Riboud’s work is extremely in demand and can be worth anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $7,000 for a gelatin silver print. The most ever paid for a Marc Riboud piece at a Heritage Auction is $5,750 for the silver gelatin print, The Painter of the Eiffel Tower, Paris France (1953) on October 27th, 2016. This is one of Riboud’s most famous pieces, and as such, that number at auction reflects that value. The record for a Riboud photograph is $26,851 and there are other records over $10,000.

Where to buy Marc Riboud photographs for sale?

See works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on the artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Marc Riboud photographs?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.


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Marc Riboud Original Art values sold at auction

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