Raymond Depardon




Highly regarded as both a photographer and film-maker, Raymond Depardon is a Pulitzer Prize winning photo-journalist who joined Magnum Photos in 1978.

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Glasgow, 1980

Raymond Depardon

Glasgow, 1980

Raymond Depardon

Early Life

Raymond Depardon was born in Villefranche-sur-Saône, France, on 6 July 1942, and began taking photographs on his family farm in Garet at the age of 12. Initially apprenticed to a photographer-optician in his hometown, he left for Paris in 1958.


In 1960 Depardon joined the Dalmas agency in Paris as a reporter, and in 1966 he co-founded the Gamma agency, and reported from all over the world. From 1974 to 1977, as a photographer and film-maker, he covered the revolution in Chad, including the kidnap of a French ethnologist, François Claustre. Alongside his photographic career, he began to make documentary films including Une Partie de Campagne (1974) and San Clemente (1982).

In 1978 Depardon joined Magnum Photos and continued his reportage work, publishing Notes in 1979 and Correspondance New-Yorkaise in 1981. In 1980 he was commissioned by The Sunday Times to photograph Glasgow, as part of a series on European cities whose reputation had fallen by the wayside. Although Depardon’s pictures of Glasgow were never used, they remain the work he is most celebrated for. In 1984 Depardon took part in the DATAR project, in which photographers were sent out by the French government to document the French countryside.

Depardon continues to play a large part in French cultural life. As part of an initiative by the Fondation Cartier for contemporary art, he made an installation of films on twelve large cities, shown in Paris, Tokyo and Berlin between 2004 and 2007. In 2006 he was invited to be artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales d’Arles.

Depardon has made eighteen feature-length films and published forty-seven books.

Exhibitions and Awards

He has been the recipient of many awards, including the Grand Prix National de la Photographie in 1991. In addition, he has also received significant recognition for his films including a César Award for Délits Flagrants (1995), a documentary on the French justice system. The Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris mounted an important exhibition of his photographs in 2000.