Friday, September 21, 2007

A quarter million dollars photo!

Aaaaahhh! Isn't this photo any photographer's dream?
Here is the story.

Robert Doisneau is a French photographer noted for his frank and often humorous depictions of Parisian street life.
Among his most recognizable work is "Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville" ("Kiss by the Hotel de Ville"), a photo of a couple kissing in the busy streets of Paris. Who the couple were was a mystery until in 1993 Denise and Jean-Louis Lavergne took him to court for taking the picture without their knowledge. This action forced Doisneau to admit that he actually posed the shot in 1950 using actor/models Françoise Bornet and her then boyfriend Jacques Carteaud.
Frenchman Doisneau was working on a photo spread about Paris lovers for Life magazine when he spotted the couple near the school where they were studying theatre.
Romantics like to believe the young lovers were captured in a spontaneous moment of bliss, but the pose was staged.

In an interview in 1992, Doisneau said: "I would have never dared to photograph people like that. Lovers kissing in the street, those couples are rarely legitimate."
The image stayed in the archives of the photo agency where Doisneau worked for more than 30 years before it was snapped up by a poster company.
Françoise was given an original print as part of her payment.

The photo's success as a poster sparked controversy with several couples claiming they were the subjects. In 1992, one couple even went on television to stake their claim to a piece of Doisneau's fame. After more than 40 years in obscurity, Mrs Bornet surfaced and met Doisneau. She showed him the original print - which bears the photographer's authentic signature and stamp - which he had sent her just a few days after the shoot. Mrs Bornet and her boyfriend did not stay together.

In April 2005 she sold the print for 155,000 € at an auction.


Mélanie said...

Thanks to a fantastic kiss , she won the jackpot. I collect old pictures. I would love to have one from Doisneau.

°~*Le Quartier*~° said...

God that would be too cool! Share your tips if you have any=)