Le baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville, Paris 1950 © Robert Doisneau


©Robert Doisneau, Mademoiselle Anita, 1951

Robert Doisneau is a French photographer belonging to the genre of street photography.


Born in Paris in 1912, he began to work in photography in 1929 working for the advertising photographer André Vigneau. In the 1930s he began his work as an industrial photographer for Renault. In the same years he photographed in the suburbs of Paris. After the Second World War he began working as an advertising photographer, producing reportages for Vougue. 1949 was an important year as he published his first book of photographs “La Banlieu de Paris”. He went on to win many awards, including the Kodak Award in 1949 and the Niépce Award in 1956.


© Robert Doisneau, Les frères, rue du Docteur Lecène, Paris, 1934

Doisneau‘s photographs have immortalised his nation and become a symbol of the French way of life. He is considered to be one of the founders of street photography, highlighting the emotions of those he photographed, as well as one of the major exponents of the humanist current in French photography. Among his most beautiful photographs are those taken of children and people in love. Doisneau succeeded in immersing himself and bringing out its most moving moments, managing to represent the feelings and ideals not only of people but of the entire city. He was able to immortalise the lightness of people. It was this that made him unique. His repertoire also includes black and white photos, which tell a cross-section of life, representing Parisian life, society, people. He has a great bond with his hometown from which he will never be separated, which is clear in his photos.

Le Baiser de l’Hotel de Ville

© Robert Doisneau, Le Baiser de l’Hotel de Ville, 1950

Among Doisneau‘s most famous photographs: Le Baiser de l’Hotel de Ville, the 1950 image. In the photo Doisneau captured a French couple. Unlike the other photos in which he captured people naturally, in this photo Doisneau asked the two boys to pose for him.

The exhibition

From 6 March to 21 June 2020 in Bologna, Palazzo Pallavicini hosted an exhibition dedicated to his works from the Robert Doisneau Atelier, with 143 selected works. The works recount the suburbs, factories, shops, children, but also war and work. Photos that captured moments of life, playful and ironic images, but not only.

Giulia Antonelli

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