Robert Doisneau (1912-1994) was a French photographer. In the 1930s he used a Leica on the streets of Paris; together with Henri Cartier-Bresson he was a pioneer of photojournalism. He is renowned for his 1950 image 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.
Robert Doisneau 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 André Kertész, Eugène Atget, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, in over twenty books Doisneau presented a charming vision of human frailty and life as a series of quiet, incongruous moments.
“The marvels of daily life are so exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.” Robert Doisneau.
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).
Robert Doisneau is one of France’s best known photographers, for his street photography and the many playful images in everyday French life. His photographs over the course of several decades provide people with a great record of French life. He has published over twenty books with realistic and charming pictures of personal moments in the lives of individuals. Without any doubt, one of the most interesting photographs.