Robert Doisneau: Paris

Format: 31 x 24.5 x 4 cm
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Readers who do not recognize Doisneau's name are more likely to recognize some of the French photographer's iconic images of mid-century Paris. In this handsome oversize volume (10x12.5"), Doisneau's daughters Francine Derondille and Annette Doisneau have assembled a stunning collection of 560 of their father's black & white photographs of the city. His beautifully composed images are often both humorous and poignant. They include street scenes, interiors, and portraits, all of which reveal his affection for the city and its inhabitants. Many of these images have never before appeared in print. The images are accompanied by quotations taken from Doisneau's private notebooks and from published works. Simultaneously published in French as Doisneau Paris.

From Publishers Weekly

Photographer Doisneau (1912-1994) had a tremendous gift not only for portraying the beauty of Paris but for capturing the charm of its citizens; some of his images have come to define Paris, even for those who've never visited. Most of the 600 photos in this classic collection feature at least one person, and the expressions on their faces are so real they feel staged. One, of a young woman finishing a roller-coaster ride, catches her with a look of "mon dieu, I thought I'd die!" The way Doisneau composes his images, focusing on a subject's "aura" ("that kind of neon light," he says, glowing around certain people) is striking. He possesses a satirical eye for humor (e.g., the shots of various sculptures doused in pigeon droppings) and the bizarre (a Monsieur Beauvoir sitting at a bar with a large bird perched on his shoulder). The chapters are broadly thematic (the one on war and politics is particularly powerful); within chapters, there are themes: e.g., butchers, the Metro, visitors observing the Mona Lisa. Doisneau's commentary appears throughout, as his photographs-whether from the 1940s or the 1990s-illustrate a society that is alternately refined, puzzling and, above all, human. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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