French photographer Robert Doisneau created some of the most iconic images in modern art, bringing his trusty camera with him around the cobblestoned-streets of Paris to capture those rare moments in time that can’t be recreated.
“The marvels of daily life are so exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street,” he once said.
He became known for his images of children at play on the streets and sidewalks, giving grace and a playful dignity to the culture of youth. One of his most well-known photos, Trois petits enfants blancs, parc Monceau (“Three Little White Children, Parc Monceau”) depicts three youngsters at play near a monument to writer Guy de Maupassant and is featured in today’s Google Doodle.
Any photographer will tell you that it takes a great amount of patience to be successful at capturing the perfect image; Doisneau sometimes even staged a scene in order to get the right amount of emotion into the image, as was the case with perhaps his most famous photograph, “Kiss by the Hotel de Ville”. The picture appeared in a 1950 issue of Life magazine and caused a lawsuit after a French couple mistakenly thought the image was of them and sued over rights to their likeness. However, Doisneau revealed that it was a different pair of lovers he’d photographed, which he was sure of because he’d asked them to recreate the kiss after failing to capture it the first time on film.
Doisneau created a lovely tapestry of black-and-white history, making him an iconic artist whose work will be admired for years to come.