French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

Categories: Europe

French photographer Robert Doisneau was born and died in Paris and desperately loved his native city. It was his streets that became the inspiration for the master of humanistic photography. Doisneau did not adhere to any particular style, trying himself in different styles - from surrealism to pictorialism. He became famous for his surprisingly easy way of capturing the life of Paris — only Doisneau was able to snatch from the daily bustle of the big city funny coincidences, contrasting surprises, and sometimes eccentric antics of Parisians. 

The most famous work of the photographer - "The Kiss at the Hotel de Ville" - was made in 1950. The photo shows a young couple kissing in the middle of a busy Paris street. However, as it turned out, this is not the only photo of kissing lovers by Robert Doisneau. 

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

In 1950, the most famous photo was taken, depicting a couple kissing against the background of the bustle of the city streets. It has become one of the symbols of Paris. Moreover, the names of the people who got into the frame were unknown until 1992.

Parisians Jean and Denise Lavernier were sure that it was them. In the 80s, they arranged a meeting with a photographer and his assistant Annette. But their opinion was not confirmed, so as not to break the dream of lovers. However, they were not satisfied with this and filed a lawsuit against the photographer for using their image, the copyright for which, according to French law, belongs to the depicted.

At the trial, Doisneau had no choice but to admit who exactly was in the frame: Francoise Delbart and Jacques Carteau — a couple whom he noticed kissing on the street, but did not take pictures for ethical reasons, and later offered to repeat the kiss for shooting. The trial was won.

At the time of shooting, Francoise was 20 years old, Jacques-23, they were aspiring actors. In 2005, Francoise recalled: "He said that we looked charming, and offered to kiss again in front of the camera. We didn't mind. It wasn't our first kiss. We were kissing all the time then, it was very nice. Monsieur Doisneau was very nice, completely without arrogance, very simple."

They posed for him in the Place de la Concorde, Rue de Rivoli, and in front of the Hotel de Ville. The photo was published in the June 12, 1950 issue of Life magazine. The relationship between the couple, however, lasted only nine months. Francoise continued her acting career, and Jacques became a winemaker.

At the same time, in 1950, Francoise received from the photographer an original photo with a signature and seal as a reward for participation. Thanks to this fact, later, in the 90s, Francoise was not able to sue the photographer for a large compensation. However, in April 2005, this photo brought her 155 thousand euros at the Artcurial Briest-Poulain-Le Fur auction and went to an undisclosed Swiss collector.

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

Liberation of Paris, August 1944. 

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

Lovers in a cafe, 1945.

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

A kiss in the Versailles passage, 1950.

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

Bois de Boulogne, circa 1950.

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

Bouquet of daffodils, 1950.

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

1950.

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

The kissing couple and the guards. 

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

A couple on the Pont Neuf (Pont Neuf) — the oldest surviving bridge in Paris across the Seine.

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

A kiss at the opera.

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

A Parisian woman kisses a French soldier during a military parade, 1950.

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

A kiss at the opera.

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

The bride and groom, 1952.

French kiss: how the photographer took pictures of couples in love on the streets of Paris

Zhemapp pier, 1970.

Keywords: Europe | Paris | France | Kiss | Photographer | Lovers | Kisses

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