I- His life
Robert Doisneau who was a very famous French photographer, was born in 1912 at Gentilly in a middle-class family. At thirteen he enrolled at the École Estienne,a craft school where hegraduated in 1929 with diplomas in engraving and lithography. Here he had his first contact with the arts. At the end of the 1920s Doisneau found work as lettering artist in the advertising industryat Ullmann Studio. Here he took an opportunity to diversify his career by also acting as camera assistant in the studio and then becoming a staff photographer. In 1934 he was hired by Renault as anindustrial photographer, but he was dismissed 5 years later because of repeated lateness. After the war, he became a independent photographer ,entering officially in 1946 the Rapho photography agency .He married and had two daughters. One of them became his assistant in 1979 until his death.
II- His work
The work of Robert Doisneau represents one of the most impressive achievement of thephotographic perspective known as humanistic reportage. His files contain more than 350 000 negatives, made over a period of sixty years, which cover almost any imaginable subject. The majority weremade within a relatively small area of Paris and its suburbs. Many of Doisneau’s most famous photographs were the outcome of a long wait on a street corner; or a lengthy promenade through a series oflocations which might prove productive. Doisneau’s photographs are the result of patience, reflection, complicity, involvement.
But even if he mainly concentrated his work on Paris, we can find a lotof themes in his portfolio, such as : scarecrow, tapestry, occultism, young women, miners, Gipsys, dance, Renault Cars, animals, sports, suburbs, funfair, painters and sculptors, …
RobertDoisneau was appointed a Chevalier of the Order of the Légion d'honneur in 1984. Moreover he won several awards throughout his life, including:
- the Balzac Prize in 1986 (Honoré de Balzac)
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