Marc Riboud - VERS L'ORIENT

blogEntryTopperIn 2009 at the age of 86, Marc Riboud received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sony World Photography Awards in Cannes France, his home country. In 2012, Editions Xavier Barral published Vers l’Orient (into the Orient) which focuses on early work by Riboud. In 1955 left France on a trip to the East, traveling to Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China and Japan. In all it took him 3 years.


A Magnum photographer, he was mentored by none other than Henri Cartier-Bresson who encouraged him to go. This we find out in the Short essay the Riboud writes in the book. “I often found letters from Henri waiting for me at General Delivery in Kabul, in Jaipur, in Madras, in Ahmedabad, or in some Indonesian city whose name I forget.” 


As to the content of these letters, little is revealed. Riboud does tell us “Henri again as he was when I met him – infused with that determination to proclaim what he believed to be the right way to photograph, to look at painting, to understand a country, to shun the picturesque, to ‘think’ a story, to ‘organise it in the mind;’ and of course to see – to learn to see – form and beauty.” 



Editions Xavier Barral have presented this previously published work in the form of five books in a box. The books by themselves are small and unassuming. Measuring about 190mm square, each have about 64 pages.



The attention to detail is excellent from the beautiful linen cover to the lovely matt paper stock to the binding. All this combines to make the work feel precious, a quality which the work exudes. Riboud work has an elegance and poetry that is supported with this presentation.



The reader is well served and I can have only have the height of enthusiasm for this collection.

Marc Riboud website
Artsy info page

Contacts with Marc Riboud (YouTube)