"If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough"

- Robert Capa

b. 1913

d. 1954


Founding member

On 3, December 1938 Picture Post introduced The Greatest War Photographer in the World: Robert Capa with a spread of 26 photographs taken during the Spanish Civil War.

But the “greatest war photographer” hated war. Born Andre Friedmann to Jewish parents in Budapest in 1913, he studied political science at the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik in Berlin. Driven out of the country by the threat of a Nazi regime, he settled in Paris in 1933.

He was represented by Alliance Photo and met the journalist and photographer Gerda Taro. Together, they invented the ‘famous’ American photographer Robert Capa and began to sell his prints under that name. He met Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway and formed friendships with fellow photographers David ‘Chim’ Seymour and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

From 1936 onwards, Capa’s coverage of the Spanish Civil War appeared regularly. His picture of a Loyalist soldier who had just been fatally wounded earned him his international reputation and became a powerful symbol of war.

After his companion, Gerda Taro, was killed in Spain, Capa travelled to China in 1938 and emigrated to New York a year later. As a correspondent in Europe, he photographed the Second World War, covering the landing of American troops on Omaha Beach on D-Day, the liberation of Paris and the Battle of the Bulge.

In 1947, Capa founded Magnum Photos with Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour, George Rodger and William Vandivert. On 25 May 1954, he was photographing for Life in Thai-Binh, Indochina, when he stepped on a landmine and was killed.

The French Army awarded him the Croix de Guerre with Palm post-humously. The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award was established in 1955 to reward exceptional professional merit.

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Selected works

Arts & Culture

Robert Capa: The Definitive Collection

Robert Capa

The finest work of one of the most influential documentary photographers of the twentieth century and Magnum co-founder Robert Capa.

Open story

From the Magnum Shop

Most Recent

Theory & Practice

John Morris on Photo Editing

Magnum Photographers

Theory & Practice

Robert Capa: Death in the Making

Robert Capa


The 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge

Robert Capa

Theme | 17 Stories

World War II

Past Exhibition
Milan, Italy

Magnum’s First in Milan

Magnum Photographers
Until Oct 6, 2019

Theme | 7 Stories

Magnum and Cinema

Past Exhibition
Ancona, Italy

Robert Capa Retrospective in Ancona

Robert Capa
Until Jun 2, 2019

Past Exhibition
Monza, Italy

Robert Capa Retrospective Opens in Monza

Robert Capa
Until Jan 24, 2019

Past Exhibition
Munich, Germany

“Magnum Manifesto” in Munich

Magnum Photographers
Until Jan 27, 2019

Theme | 11 Stories


Theory & Practice

Old and New: Working With and Responding to the Photographic Archive

Magnum Photographers