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Ernst Haas

A pioneer of colour photography and member of Magnum, Ernst Haas described himself as a "painter in a hurry".

Ernst Haas was born in Vienna in 1921. He studied briefly at the Graphic Arts Institute in Vienna and taught photography at the American Red Cross. In 1947 his photographs of war torn Vienna appeared in a group exhibition.

With a desire to put the bleak war years behind him, he embraced the advent of colour film and became one of its master proponents.

LIFE Magazine published his first major colour essay “Images of a Magic City” (New York) in 1953 and in 1957 also published “Beauty in a Brutal Art” which depicts the bullfight in Spain and marked the beginning of his motion studies – a style of photography which had never been published before.

Haas was widely respected by his contemporaries. Photographers Elliot Erwitt, Cartier Bresson and Ansel Adams were among his fervent admirers. A member of Magnum since 1949 Haas was elected president in 1959.

Though a genius with colour Haas was equally adept with black and white and in 1960 captured the cast (including Marilyn Monroe) and crew on the set of "The Misfits". These photographs remain amongst his best known work.