Moddoti (1869-1942) moved in working class circles in Italy at the end of the 19th century. In 1913 she emigrated to the United States and worked as a seamstress before developing into a distinguished actress, model and femme fatale in Hollywood.
Photographer Edward Weston brought her into contact with photography. At first she was his model, later she became his assistant and in the end she took up a camera herself. From 1923 to 1930 Modotti lived in Mexico where she became involved in revolutionary politics. The subject of her photographs was mainly workers, women and children. During the Spanish Civil War in the 1930-ies she gave up photography, to dedicate herself completely to her fight against fascism. Moddoti returned to Mexico at the end of her life where she died alone.