Home / Photography / Street PhotographyHeartwarming Photos Capture the Simple Joys of Life in a Post-WWII Paris

Heartwarming Photos Capture the Simple Joys of Life in a Post-WWII Paris

Paris Street Photography by Willy Ronis

River boat, Paris, 1949 (© Ministère de la Culture – Médiathèque de l'architecture et du patrimoine, dist. RMN-GP, donation Willy Ronis)

Willy Ronis is a legendary name in French photography. Ronis began his career in his father's photography studio, selling it when his father died in 1936, and setting up his own freelance business. Mingling with the great photographers of his time—Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour, and Robert Capa—he was the first French photographer to work with LIFE.

Passing in 2009 at age 99, Ronis had continued photography until 2001 when his cane made it too difficult to continue working with his camera. The legendary photographer enjoyed a wide-ranging career, one that included fashion photography for publications like Vogue. But it was his street photography—particularly his images of post-WWII Paris—that defined his work. His ability to document human moments between ordinary citizens is a fascinating lens into a city pulling itself out of the hardships of war.

From a little boy excitedly running home with his baguette to a trio dancing up a storm at an outdoor ball, Ronis gives glimpses into the simple pleasures and joys of life. To gain more insight into his career, which spanned over 70 years, Willy Ronis Par Willy Ronis is an all-encompassing exhibition currently on display at the Pavillon Carré de Baudouin in Paris. Prior to his passing, Ronis donated six albums of photographs to the French state. These albums form the core of the exhibition, which is on view until September 29, 2018. From his street photography to his self-portraits and stunning nudes, more than 200 photos take viewers inside the creative mind of Ronis.

Photo of Paris by Willy Ronis

The little Parisian boy, 1952 (© Ministère de la Culture – Médiathèque de l'architecture et du patrimoine, dist. RMN-GP, donation Willy Ronis)

Paris Street Photography by Willy Ronis

An outdoor ball, at Maxe's, Joinville-le-Pont, 1947 (© Ministère de la Culture – Médiathèque de l'architecture et du patrimoine, dist. RMN-GP, donation Willy Ronis)

Post-War Paris Photography by Willy Ronis

The french fries seller, rue Rambuteau, 1946 (© Ministère de la Culture – Médiathèque de l'architecture et du patrimoine, dist. RMN-GP, donation Willy Ronis)

Paris Photography by Willy Ronis

The Café de France, L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, 1979 (© Ministère de la Culture – Médiathèque de l'architecture et du patrimoine, dist. RMN-GP, donation Willy Ronis)

My Modern Met granted permission to use images by 2e-Bureau.

Related Articles:

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Guy Bourdin’s Early Unpublished Photos from the Streets of 1950s Paris

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365 Days of Documenting Parisians Through Stunning Street Portraits

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