Marc Riboud with his Leica M4 by Mademoiselle Yvette Troispoux, Paris, France 1980

Marc Riboud with his Leica M4 by Mademoiselle Yvette Troispoux, Paris, France 1980

In this photograph a cable, a note and a partial view of a face in the left background become the hallmarks of a nonchalance, unconsciously befitting her motif. Riboud, who published an extensive book on China the same year, declared two decades later: “I am not a fan of posed pictures. My true passion is for life in all its vibrancy, and I try to capture this as intensively as I can.”

Serious and patient, but ready for the counter-shot, with a direct gaze, his black painted Leica M4 in hand: Marc Riboud, famous for his concentrated, pensive and incorruptible gaze as a world traveller and Magnum Photos photographer, portrayed by Mademoiselle Yvette Troispoux – as her photographer’s stamp identifies her. Known as a “photographe des photographes”, the office employee and amateur photographer made remarkable appearances at vernissages and festivals, all the way into old age.

From her friend and gallerist Agathe Gaillard to the Paris-based group of photographers “Les 30 x 40” and all the way to the Rencontres d’Arles – the “photo girlfriend”, as Robert Doisneau called her, threw herself into the crowds at every opportunity, immortalising many of the leading lights in photography’s history.

If the photography enthusiast’s poetic, almost tender travel photographs can be ascribed to a humanistic tradition, her portraits are characterised by a charming, fresh, sometimes amusing spontaneity.