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Tributes paid to French postwar photography legend

 15th Sep 2009

The man described as one of the great masters of photography passed away at the weekend, prompting tributes from movers and shakers across the globe.

Willy Ronis, who was 99 when he died in Paris on Saturday (12th September), was a contemporary of fellow photography legends Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau.

In a statement, French president Nicolas Sarkozy said Ronis was a "chronicler of postwar social aspirations and the poet of a simple and joyous life".

He continued: "With the passing of Willy Ronis, the twentieth century moves still further away, but we retain a unique account of it thanks to his humanist curiosity and his inspired gaze."

Some of the photographer's most famous works include a black-and-white shot of a little boy running past a Parisian bakery with a baguette and Les Amoureux de la Bastille, a shot of a couple kissing with the French capital in the background.

Talking about the latter to Agence France-Presse last year, Ronis explained that the photograph wasn't planned: "Just as I was about to shoot the picture, the young man kissed his girlfriend on the forehead."

"I never ever went out without my camera, even to buy bread," he added.

See some of Willy Ronis' images.