Robert Doisneau, One of my all time favorite photographers. Born on April 12, 1912 a French photographer notorious for his work in the 1950's. One of his most famous photographs of all time is Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Town Hall) Below* Is one of my favorite photographs of all time.
I stumbled across this print hanging on a wall while I was out thrift shopping one day. The framed print was so high the store clerk literally had to climb the wall to get it down for me. At the time I had absolutely no clue who the people in the image were or who had captured such a stunning moment in time. This image to me was absolutely breathtaking. True love captured right there.....some old fool sitting in a cafe (and much like myself) thought to himself look at these kids stopping to appreciate each other with mayhem and chaos going on around them!
HA well that couldn't be further from the truth. Damn Robert Doisneau he planned the whole damn thing. Of course though I didn't find this out until years later when I was looking through TIME Magazine's 100 most popular photo's of all time. Any who I still appreciate the photograph to the fullest and it still holds the same amount of joy for me that it did on the first day I saw it.
The identity of this couple was not revealed until 1992 when Doisneau was taken to court and forced to reveal who the lovers in the photograph were. Jean and Denise Lavergne erroneously believed themselves to be the couple in "The Kiss". Doisneau is quoted as saying "I would never have dared to photograph people like that. Lovers kissing in the street, those couples are rarely legitimate. – Robert Doisneau, 1992.
Instead what really happened was Robert (because clearly I can be on a first name basis with him!) HA; had seen lovers kissing but would never photograph because of his natural reserve. He then asked them if they would repeat the kiss for le baiser, and I'm assuming they happily obliged. Drum roll please identities revealed.....Françoise Delbart and Jacques Carteaud. Francoise 20 at the time and Jacques 23 were both aspiring actors. Jacques said Doisneau approached them in a very charming matter and asked them to kiss again, "Of course we didn't mind we were used to kissing. We were doing it all the time, it was delicious."!
This photograph was published in LIFE magazine on June 12, 1950. Francoise and Jacques relationship only lasted for 9 months.