Musique de chambre 1957
Les vingt ans de Josette 1946
Tour Eiffel 1932
Les enfants de la place Herbert 1957
Les freres 1934
Les lilas de ménilmontant 1956
La Fontaine Wallace 1946
Les Ecoliers curieux 1953
L´Observateur a genoux 1956
La dent 1956
La porte plume 1956
Espero que lo hayais disfrutado
Baigneurs dans la Marne 1944
Baiser Blottot 1950
Ballade pour violoncelle 1957
Café noire et blanc 1948
Creatures de rêve 1952
La Danse de carpeaux 1972
La derniere valse du 14 Juillet 1949
Les amoreux aux oranges 1950
Le baiser de l'Hôtel de Ville 1950
Les banquistes 1944
Quai Branly 1961
(b Gentilly, Val-de-Marne, 14 April 1912; d Paris, 1 April
1994). French photographer. He attended the Ecole Estienne in Paris
(1926-9), where he studied engraving, and after leaving the school he
had various jobs designing engraved labels and other items. He found his
training of little use, however, and soon began to experiment with
photography, teaching himself the techniques. In 1931 he worked as an
assistant to the photographer Andr? Vigneau. The following year
Doisneau's series of photographs of a flea market in Paris was published
in the periodical Excelsior. His early photographs have many of
the features of his mature works: for example the seeming unawareness of
the camera shown by the people in Sunday Painter (1932; see Trois
secondes d'?ternit?, pl. 61) and the comic subject both add to the
photograph's charm, a quality Doisneau valued greatly. In 1934 he
obtained a job as an industrial photographer at the Renault factory in
Billancourt, Paris, where he was required to take photographs of the
factory interior and its machines as well as advertising shots of the
finished cars. In the summer of 1939 he was dismissed for being
repeatedly late and then worked briefly for the Rapho photographic
agency in Paris, producing more photographs of the capital.
Photography Encyclopedia:Robert Doisneau
Doisneau, Robert (1912-94), French
photographer. Born in Gentilly on the southern edge of Paris in 1912,
Doisneau became a leading exponent of French humanist photography. He
never moved away from the Parisian banlieue (suburbs), and
famously turned down an invitation to join Magnum
in 1947 because it would have meant considerable travel outside France,
and more particularly Paris. He had also recently joined the Rapho
agency and felt loyalty to its owner, Raymond Grosset.
Parisian of the humanists, Doisneau's work can be seen as a visual
social history of the city, its people and culture, from the 1930s to
the 1980s. He spent much of his life on projects that cover the life of
its streets, the people and places that gave the city and its suburbs
their identity. His pictures of lovers, children, and families are
widely reproduced. Although widely known for a series of anecdotal,
narrative pictures in which he used models to recreate a situation he
had observed earlier—Un régard oblique, Le Baiser de l'Hôtel de Ville—his
extraordinarily rich body of work was mainly produced ‘sur le vif’,
plucked by chance from the stream of everyday life.
Many of his
most famous photographs were self-commissions, the outcome of a long
wait on a street corner, or a lengthy promenade through a series of
locations which might prove productive. Doisneau preferred to describe
himself as a pêcheur d'images (a ‘fisher’ of pictures) rather
than to use the term commonly used for reportage photographers—chasseur
d'images (picture hunter). The difference is significant. In order
to make ‘my’ pictures, Doisneau said, ‘I had to “get wet”, to immerse
myself in the life of the people whom I was photographing’. Such an
approach yielded the most comprehensive and multifaceted self-portrait
of his social class, the classe populaire, a self-portrait which
also shows the photographer as a person woven into the fabric of his
Trained as an engraver, Doisneau took up photography in
1930-1 as the new technology of the small camera was emerging. With his
he fished the suburbs for images which expressed his rebelliousness
towards authority and convention. A period as industrial and commercial
photographer at Renault (1934-9) helped to define his political and
social values, which were sorely tried during the Occupation, when he
scratched a living as a photographer and forger for the Resistance.
Typically, his pictures of the liberation of Paris emphasize its human,
The years 1945-60 were Doisneau's heyday. He
produced books that are iconic works of French humanism, worked
regularly as a photojournalist, notably for Vogue
and enjoyed rich and creative friendships with writers, musicians, and
artists. In the 1960s and 1970s he had to turn increasingly to
industrial and commercial work, but continued his own almost obsessive
documentation of social change in Paris. Rediscovered in the 1980s as
the author of iconic images of the 1950s, but also as a gifted raconteur
and writer, he had a final period of intense activity, especially as a
portraitist, a role for which he possessed true genius.
— Peter Hamilton
- Hamilton, P., Robert Doisneau: A
Photographer's Life (1995)
Robert Doisneau (April 14, 1912, Gentilly,
Val-de-Marne - April 1, 1994) was a French
noted for his frank and often humorous depictions of Paris street life.
Robert Doisneau was one of France's most popular and prolific
reportage photographers. He was known for his modest, playful, and
ironic images of amusing juxtapositions, mingling social classes, and
eccentrics in contemporary Paris streets and cafes. Influenced by the
work of Kertész,
in over 20 books Doisneau has presented a charming vision of human
frailty and life as a series of quiet, incongruous moments. Doisneau has
written: "The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can
arrange the unexpected that you find in the street."
Among his most recognizable work is Le baiser de l'hôtel
de ville (Kiss by the Hôtel
de Ville), a photo of a couple kissing in the busy streets of Paris.
The identity of the couple was a mystery until 1993, when Denise and
Jean-Louis Lavergne took Doisneau to court for taking the picture
without their knowledge. This action prompted Doisneau to reveal that he
posed the shot in 1950 using actor/models Françoise Bornet and Jacques
Françoise was given an original print as part of her payment. In April
2005 she sold the print for 155,000 €
at an auction. Paris was one of the favorite photographic subjects of
Doisneau's work gives unusual prominence and dignity to children's
street culture; returning again and again to the theme of children
at play in the city, unfettered by parents. His work treats their play
with seriousness and respect. In his honour, and owing to this, there
are several Ecole Primaire (Primary Schools) named after him. An example
is at Veretz (Indre-et-Loire).
de la photographie Robert Doisneau in Gentilly,
Val-de-Marne, is a photographic gallery named to commemorate
- 1994 Dies April 1 in Paris.
- 1991 Introduced to the French author Daniel
- 1986 Meets the French journalist François Canna.
- 1985 Produces portraits of personalities for the magazine Femme.
- 1983 Introduced to French actress and producer Sabine
Azéma, who would later make the film Bonjour Monsieur Doisneau.
- 1984 Responsible for the topic of “New Urban Landscapes” for the
photographic mission of DATAR.
- 1975 Guest at the Meetings of Arles.
- 1967 Travels to work in the USSR to work for the magazine Working
- 1960 Visits the United States to work in Hollywood and Palm Springs.
- 1949-51 Receives contract with Vogue magazine.
- 1947 Introduced to Bordeaux shipper Robert Giraud as well as the
French poet Jacques
- 1946 Raymond Grosset re-establishes the Rapho,
which had closed during World War II. Doisneau would go on to work with
the agency for nearly fifty years.Works with the weekly publication,
Action. Travels to Yugoslavia.
- 1945 Works for the first time with Pierre Betz, editor for the
magazine Le Point (published from 1936 to 1962).
Introduced to the Swiss poet and novelist Blaise
Cendrars in Aix-en-Provence, France. Meets photographer Henri
Cartier-Bresson, one of the founding members of the photographic agency
- 1944 Introduced to French actor Maurice Baquet.
- 1942 Meets renowned French typographer Maximilien
- 1939 Introduced to The founder of the Rapho
agency, Charles Rado. Begins working as a fully independent
- 1934-38 Works as an industrial photographer at the Renault
factories in Billancourt, France.
- 1932 Images of a flea market are the first photographs sold to the
daily publication, L’Excelsior.
- 1931 Assistant to André Vigneau.
- 1930 Draftsman at the Ulman Workshop.
- 1926-29 Studies at Ecole Estienne in Paris and receives a diploma as
- 1912 Born April 14 in Gentilly, France.
- 1986 Balzac Prize
- 1983 Grand Prix National de la Photographie
- 1956 Niepce Prize
- 1947 Kodak Prize
- 1947 Salon de la Photo, Bibliothèque, Paris.
- 1951 Exhibition with Brassaї, Willy Ronis, and Izis, Museum of
Modern Art, New York.
- 1960 Solo exhibition, Museum of Modern Art, Chicago.
- 1965 Exhibition with Daniel Frasnay, Jean Lattès, Jeanine Niépce,
Roger Pic, and Willy Ronis, Six Photographes et Paris, Musée des Arts
Decoratifs, Paris. Exhibition with Henri Cartier-Bresson and André
Vigneau, Musée Réattu, Arles. Solo exhibition, Bibliothèque Nationale,
Paris. Exhibition with D. Brihat, J. P. Sudre, and L. Clergue, Musée
Cantini de Marseilles.
- 1972 Solo exhibition, International Museum of Photography at George
Eastman House, Rochester, New York. Exhibition with Edouard Boubat,
Brassaї, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Izis, and Willy Ronis, French Embassy,
- 1974 Solo exhibition, University of California at Davis. Solo
exhibition, Galerie du Château d’Eau, Toulouse.
- 1975 Solo exhibition, Witkin Gallery, New York; Musée Réattu Arts
Décoratifs, Nantes; Musée Réattu, Arles. Solo exhibition, Galerie et
Fils, Brussels. Solo exhibition, fnac, Lyons. Group exhibition,
Expression de l’humor, Boulogne Billancourt. Solo exhibition, Galerie
- 1976 Exhibition with Brassaї, Cartier-Bresson, Jean-Philippe
Charbonnier, Izis, and Marc Riboud, Kraków.
- 1977 Solo exhibition, Brussels. Exhibition with Guy la Querrec,
Carlos Freire, Claude Raimond-Dityvon, Bernard Descamps, and Jean
Lattès, Six Photographes en quête de banlieue, Centre Georges Pompidou,
- 1978 Solo exhibition, Ne Bougeons plus, Galerie Agathe Gaillard,
Paris. Solo exhibition, Witkin Gallery, New York. Solo exhibition, Musée
Nicéphore Niépce, Charlon-sur-Saône.
- 1979 Solo exhibition, Paris, les passants qui passent, Musée d’Art
Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
- 1980 Solo exhibition, Amsterdam.
- 1981 Solo exhibition, Witkin Gallery, New York.
- 1982 Solo exhibition, Portraits, Foundation Nationale de la
Photopraphie, Lyons. Solo exhibition, French Embassy, New York. Solo
exhibition, Robert Doisneau, Photographe de banlieue, Town Hall,
Gentilly. Solo exhibition of 120 photographs, Palace of Fine Arts,
Beijing. Exhibition of portraits, Tokyo. Solo exhibition, Robert
Doisneau, Photographie du dimanche, Institut Lumière, Lyon.
- 1986 Group exhibition, De Vogue à femme, Rencontres Internationales
de la Photographie d’Arles.
- 1987 Solo exhibition, St.-Denis, Musée de St.-Denis. Solo
exhibition, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto.
- 1988 Solo exhibition, A Homage to Robert Doisneau, Villa Medicis,
- 1989 Solo exhibition, Doisneau-Renault, Grande Halle de la Villette,
- 1990 Solo exhibition, La Science de Doisneau, Jardin des Plantes,
- 1992 Solo exhibition, Robert Doisneau: A Retrospective.
- 1993 The Summerlee Heritage Trust, Coatbridge, Scotland; Royal
Festival Hall, London; Manchester City Art Gallery; O Mes da Fotografie
Festival, Convento do Beato, Lisbon, Portugal. Musée Carnavalet, Paris.
- 1994 Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, Canada; Galway Arts
Centre, Ireland. Solo exhibition, A Homage to Robert Doisneau, Galerie
du Château d’Eau à Toulouse. Solo exhibition, Doisneau 40/44, Centre
d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation de Lyon, Lyon, France.
Solo exhibition, Robert Doisneau ou la désobéissance, Ecomusée de
- 1995 Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England; Aberdeen Art Gallery,
Scotland; The Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry.
- 1996 Solo exhibition, Montpellier Photo-Visions, Galerie Municipale
de la Photographie; Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo; Daimaru Museum, Osaka,
- 2000 Exhibition, Gravités, Paris.
- 2001 Exhibition, Gallerie Claude Bernard, Paris.
- 2002 Exhibition, Santiago, Chile.
- 2003 Exhibition, Budapest, Hungary. Exhibition, Bucarest, Romania.
- 2004 Exhibition, Gallerie Claude Bernard, Paris.
- 2005 Solo Exhibition, Robert Doisneau from the Fictional to the
Real, Bruce Silverstein, New York.
- Paris délivré par son peuple. Paris: Braun: c.1944.
- La Banlieue de Paris. Text by Blaise
Cendrars. Paris: Éditions Pierre Seghers, 1949.
- L'Enfant de Paris. Text by Claude
Roy. Neuchâtel: La Baconnière, 1951.
- Sortilèges de Paris. Text by François Cali. Paris: Arthaud,
- Les Parisiens tels qu’ils sont. Text by Robert Giraud and
Michel Ragon. Paris: Delpire, 1954.
- Instantanés de Paris. Preface by Blaise Cendrars. Paris:
- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Compter en s’amusant. Lausanne: La Guilde du
- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Text by Arthur Gregor. Philadelphia:
- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Text by Elsie May Harris. London: Nelson,
- Pour que Paris soit. Text by Elsa
Triolet. Paris: Éditions Cercle d’Art, 1956.
- Gosses de Paris. Text by Jean Dongués. Paris: Éditions
- Robert Doisneau's Paris: 148 Photographs. Text by Blaise
Cendrars. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1956.
- Paris Parade: 148 Photographs. London: Thames & Hudson,
- Le ballet contre l'opéra. Souillac, Lot: Mulhouse, 1956.
- A.B.C. du dépannage. N.p.: Société des pétroles Shell Berre,
- Bistrots. Text by Robert Giraud. Le Point: Revue artistique
et littéraire, 57. Souillac, Lot: Mulhouse, 1960.
- Arabie, carrefour des siècles: Album. Text by Jacques
Benoist-Méchin. Lausanne: La Guilde du livre, 1961.
- Nicolas Schöffer. Text by Guy Habasque and Jacques Ménétrier.
Neuchâtel: Éditions du Griffon, 1962.
- Cognac. Text by Georges Vial. Cognac: Rémy Martin, 1960 (?). (English)
- Marius, le forestier. Text by Dominique Halévy. Les hommes
travaillent. Paris: Éditions Fernand Nathan, 1964.
- Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, André Vigneau: Trois
photographes français. Arles: Musée Réattu, 1965. Catalogue of an
exhibition at Musée Réattu of Doisneau, Henri
Cartier-Bresson, and André Vigneau.
- Épouvantables Épouvantails. Paris: Éditions Hors Mesure,
- Le Royaume d’argot. Text by Robert Giraud. Paris: Denoël,
- Le Royaume secret du milieu. Paris: Éditions Planète, 1969.
- Catherine la danseuse. Text by Michèle Manceaux. Paris:
Éditions Fernand Nathan, 1966.
- L'École polytechnique. Loos-lez-Lille: L. Danel, 1967.
- L'Oeil objectif. Marseille: Musée Cantini, 1968. Catalogue of
an exhibition at Musée Cantini by Doisneau, Denis Brihat, Lucien
Clergue, and Jean-Pierre
- Le Royaume secret du milieu. Text by Robert Giraud. Paris:
Éditions Planète, 1969.
- 1972 My Paris. Text: Chevalier, Maurice. Macmillan Publishers. New
- 1974 Le Paris de Robert Doisneau et Max-Pol Fouchet. Les éditeurs
français réunis. France.
- 1978 L’Enfant à la Colombe. Text: Sage, James. Editions of the Oak.
Paris. La Loire. Denoël. Paris.
- 1979 Le Mal de Paris. Text: Lépidis, Clément. Arthaud Publications.
Paris. Trois Secondes d’éternité. Contrejour. Paris.
- 1980 Ballade pour Violoncelle et Chambre Noir. Co-author: Baquet,
Maurice. Herscher Editions. Paris.
- 1981 Robert Doisneau. Text: Chevrier, Jean-François. Belfond
- 1982 Passages et Galeries du 19ème Siècle. Text: Delvaille, Bernard.
Éditions Baslland. Paris.
- 1983 Doisneau. Photopoche, Centre National de la Photographie.
- 1985 Paysages, Photographies. (mission photography for DATAR)
Éditions Hazan. Paris.
- 1986 Un Certain Robert Doisneau. Editions of the Oak. Paris.
- 1987 Pour saluer Cendrars. Text: Camilly, J. Actes Sud. Arles,
- 1988 60 portraits d/artists. Text: Petit, Jean. Hans Grieshaber
Publications. Zürich. Doisneau. Quotations by Doisneau collected by
Maisonneuve, Andre. Éditions Hazan. Paris, France. Bonjour Monsieur Le
Corbusier. Text: Petit, Jean. Hans Grieshaber Publications. Zürich.
- 1989 A l’imparfait de l’objectif. Belfond Editions. Paris. Les
Doigts Pleins d’encre. Text: Cavanna. Hoëbeke Editions. Paris.
- 1990 La Science de Doisneau. Hoëbeke Editions. Paris. Les
Auvergnats. (with Dubois, Jaques) Nathan Images. Paris. Lettres à un
Aveugle sur des Photographies de Robert Doisneau. Text: Roumette,
Sylvain. Le Tout sur le tout/Le Temps qu’il fait. Paris.
- Le Vin des rues. Text by Robert Giraud. Paris: Denoël, 1990.
- 1991 Rue Jacques Prévert. Hoëbeke Editions. Paris, France. La
Compagnie des Zincs. Text: Carradec, François Carradec. Seghers. Paris.
- 1992 Les Grandes Vacances. Text: Pennac, Daniel. Hoëbeke Editions.
- 1992 Mes gens de Plume. Writings by Doisneau collected by Dubois, Y.
Éditions La Martinière. France.
- 1993 Les Enfants de Germinal. Text: Cavanna. Hoëbeke Editions.
- 1994 Doisneau 40/44. Text: Ory, Pascal. Hoëbeke Editions. Paris.
- 1994 La Vie de Famille. Text: Ory, Pascal. Hoëbeke Editions. Paris.
- 1995 Robert Doisneau ou la Vie d’un photographie. Text: Hamilton,
Peter. Hoëbeke Editions. Paris.
- 1997 Mes Parisiens. Nathan Publications. Paris.