To celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of famous French Photographer Robert Doisneau, Google has posted a collection of four of his most famous photographs in the form of a Google doodle.
Robert Doisneau was a famous French photographer born on 14 April 1912. Robert Doisneau is best known for his street photography, his most famous example being 1950′s ‘Kiss in front of the Palace of City Hall’, a photo of a couple kissing in the busy streets of Paris. The photograph, which has the Paris town hall in the back ground and the tables of a cafe in the foreground, has been reproduced on cards and posters & became an internationally recognised symbol of young love in Paris. The identity of the couple remained a mystery until 1992.
Robert got his first break in 1931, when he landed a job as an assistant with the modernist photographer Andre Vigneau. In 1932 he sold his first photo story to Excelsior magazine. In 1934, Doisneau started working with auto-manufacturer Renault as an industrial advertising photographer. Doisneau was to later describe his stint with Renault as “the beginning of (my) career as a photographer and the end of (my) youth”.
In 1939 he was hired by Charles Rado of the Rapho photo agency and travelled throughout France in search of picture stories. This is where he took his first professional street photographs.
In 1936 Doisneau married Pierrette Chaumaison whom he had met in 1934 when she was cycling through a village where he was on holiday. They had two daughters, Annette (b.1942) and Francine (b.1947). Annette worked as his assistant from 1979 until his death.
Pierrette died in 1993 suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Doisneau died on 1 April 1994, six months later, having had a triple heart bypass and suffering from acute pancreatitis.
Robert Doisneau was appointed a Chevalier of the Order of the Légion d’honneur in 1984. He won several awards throughout his life, including:
- The Balzac Prize in 1986 (Honoré de Balzac)
- The Grand Prix National de la Photographie in 1983
- The Niépce Prize in 1956 (Nicéphore Niépce)
- The Kodak Prize in 1947
A short film, “Le Paris de Robert Doisneau”, was made in 1973.
In 1992 the French actress and producer Sabine Azéma made the film Bonjour Monsieur Doisneau.
The Maison de la photographie Robert Doisneau in Gentilly, Val-de-Marne, is a photographic gallery named in his honour.
In honour of his photography of children’s street culture, there are several ‘Ecole Primaire’ (Primary Schools) named after him. An example is at Véretz (Indre-et-Loire).
The photography of Robert Doisneau has had a revival since his death in 1994. Many of his portraits and photos of Paris from the end of World War II through the 1950s have been turned into calendars and postcards and have become icons of French life.