Berlin 1945, Robert Capa

The Slovenian capital of Ljubljana is hosting an extremely interesting exhibition that presents the magnificent world of Robert Capa, one of the most prominent war photographers of all time. Anyone interested in war photography or history will definitely be familiar with the name – and I can even add that my 14-year-old cousin is also fascinated by his work and by all of the stories behind his photos. We could write multitudes about the exhibition, but a picture is worth a thousand words, so the best thing is to see the exhibition itself and immerse yourself in one of the world’s best photography stories.

Capa’s retrospective exhibition features 97 black-and-white photographs showing pivotal events from the five wars he documented in his brief life: from the Spanish Civil War, the Second Sino-Japanese War, World War II including the Battle of Normandy on Omaha Beach and the liberation of Paris, the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and the First Indochina War. The exhibition also presents a glimpse of his personal life with a series of portraits of his friends and artists, including Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

His legacy includes over 70,000 negatives that provide a unique insight into the turbulent history of the twentieth century. Born in 1913 in Budapest, Capa found work in photography in Berlin and in 1933 moved from Germany to Paris, where he met Andre Kertesz, David Seymour and Henri Cartier-Bresson. He went on to report from five wars, including the First Indochina War in Vietnam where he would lose his life in 1954 from critical wounds suffered in a landmine explosion. Alongside Henri Cartier-Bresson, Capa was one of the most celebrated founding members of the Magnum Photos agency in Paris in 1947. In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of its existence the exhibition materials are being supplied by this notable photo agency.

Pablo Picasso in Francois Gilot-Golfe Juan, Francija, Avgust 1948 Robert Capa

Do not miss the exhibition

The Exhibition runs until 27th August 2017, so you’ll have to hurry along not to miss out!

Some facts about Robert Capa

  • His most famous images are ‘The Magnificent Eleven’, a group of photographs taken on D-Day (June 6, 1944).
  • In 1945-46 he dated actress Ingrid Bergman.
  • Robert Capa and Ernest Hemingway were long-time friends, having met during the Spanish Civil War. Because of their close friendship, Capa had access to Hemingway’s personal and relaxed moments, such as those pictured here, shot on assignment for LIFE magazine.
Robert Capa: Hemingway and son Gregory during hunt

About Robert Capa

Robert Capa, Hungarian war photographer and photo journalist, was born Endre Friedmann in a Jewish family on October 22, 1913 in Budapest. His mother was a native of Slovakia and his father from Romania’s Transylvania. Unhappy with the atmosphere and living conditions in Hungary, immediately after the end of the First World War, at the age of eighteen, he moved to Berlin, where he found work in photography and fell in love with art. Due to growing fascism and the persecution of Jewish journalists and photographers, he left Berlin in 1933, settled in France and replaced his Jewish name with the now famous Americanised name of Robert Capa (Capa, meaning “shark”, was his nickname in his school years). In Paris he soon met with well-known photographers Andrew Kerteszem, David Seymour and Henry Cartier-Bresson, and during this time his girlfriend Gerda Taro helped his business greatly. His subsequent journeys followed different European and Asian war camps from Spain, between 1936 and 1939, to Vietnam, where in 1954 he stepped on a mine during his photography.

During his career he had already risked his life numerous times, most dramatically as the only photographer for the landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day. He documented the course of World War II in London, North Africa, Italy, and the liberation of Paris. His friends and colleagues included Irwin Shaw, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and director John Huston. In 1947, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower awarded Capa the Medal of Freedom for his work recording World War II in pictures. That same year, Capa co-founded Magnum Photos in Paris. The organisation was the first cooperative agency for worldwide freelance photographers. Hungary has issued a stamp and a gold coin in his honour.