Robert Doisneau (14 April 1912 – 1 April 1994) was a French photographer. In the 1930s he used a Leica on the streets of Paris. He and Henri Cartier-Bresson were pioneers of photojournalism. He is renowned for his 1950 image Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Town Hall), a photograph of a couple kissing in the busy streets of Paris. Doisneau was appointed a Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion of Honour in 1984.

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 more than twenty books he presented a charming vision of human frailty and life as a series of quiet, incongruous moments.

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 Véretz (Indre-et-Loire).

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Robert Doisneau Poems

Robert Doisneau Quotes

A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there—even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity.
Robert Doisneau (b. 1912), French photographer. Weekend Guardian (London, April 4, 1992).
Chance is the one thing you can't buy.... You have to pay for it and you have to pay for it with your life, spending a lot of time, you pay for it with time, not the wasting of time but the spending of time.
Robert Doisneau (b. 1912), French photographer. Weekend Guardian (London, April 4, 1992).
Nowadays people's visual imagination is so much more sophisticated, so much more developed, particularly in young people, that now you can make an image which just slightly suggests something, they can make of it what they will.
Robert Doisneau (b. 1912), French photographer. Weekend Guardian (London, April 4, 1992).

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