Tracing the Criminal

Willy Ronis: Photographs 1926-1995
Photographs by Willy Ronis
Text by Peter Hamilton

1995, £25.00, paperback, 128pp, 120 photographs
ISBN 0-905836-89-X


This book provides the first comprehensive study in English of the work of Willy Ronis (b. 1910), a leading figure in the development of French humanist photography. Designed to complement the retrospective exhibition held in Oxford's Museum of Modern Art, the book surveys Ronis's career as a photographer, assessing his contribution in the context of the key cultural, social and political movements of his time.

A contemporary of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau, Ronis's great talent has been the ability to convey, in a few images, the essence of a whole way of life. His pictures communicate a warmth and sympathy for his subjects. Despite the apparent ease with which we can read their meaning, they are never banal or sentimental and deserve to be ranked alongside the best work of his peers. Much of his finest work was done in his own time, producing such classics as the image of his son Vincent with his model glider and the famous Nu Provençal.

Based on detailed research by Peter Hamilton, the book provides a valuable introduction to Ronis's photography and a selection of 120 of his finest photographs.

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