Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

Le Baiser de l’Hotel de Ville

with 27 comments

doisneau_kiss

Although not as iconic as Alfred Eisenstaedt’s the sailor kiss on the V-E Day, Robert Doisneau’s “The Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville,” taken on a Parisian street in 1950, is considered one of the most romanticand popular photos ever taken. Although Doisneau worked in Paris as a street photographer and stole many an intimate moment of Parisian couples, this classic shot was staged. However, this fact didn’t prevent the picture from gracing the walls of many freshman dorm rooms since its first production in 1986. More than 500,000 posters and 400,000 postcards have been reprinted from the original.

The picture was taken for a photo spread about Paris lovers for Life magazine, but the image stayed in the archives of Doisneau’s photo agency (Ralpho, which benefited greatly from this single picture) for more than 30 years before it was commercialized by a poster company. 

The picture’s success sparked controversies when several couples claimed that they were the subjects and sued Doisneau. In 1993, a former actress, Françoise Bornet sued Doisneau for $18,000 and a share of the royalty in the image, by claiming she was the women in the picture. The case was dismissed, but Doisneau admitted that he, Bornet and her boyfriend Jacques Carteaud staged the photo. The couple who would later separate were the students studying theater when Doisneau approached them.  Doisneau reflected, “I would have never dared to photograph people like that. Lovers kissing in the street, those couples are rarely legitimate.”

 

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

May 8, 2009 at 5:59 am

Posted in Society

Tagged with

27 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. France has to be my most favorite vacation destination. Each year that I visit I discover new things that I adore.

    Kimberly Fish

    February 27, 2010 at 11:31 pm

  2. [...] on ohittamaton, valitsin kuitenkin version, jossa näkyy myös ranskankielinen teksti. Kuvat Robert Doisneaun, jonka useista otoksista on kiteytynyt mustavalkoisten tilannekuvien ikoneja. HUOM! Kuitenkin [...]

  3. [...] is a city of passion. Embraces in bustling boulevards like Doisneau’s iconic Le Baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville are synonymous with romantic abandon. Not everyone has the good fortune to visit the City of Light [...]

  4. [...] iconici della storia della fotografia, come “Day in Times Square” di Alfred Eisenstaedt e “Le Baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville” di Robert Doisneau. Man mano che l’immagine diventa un tormentone virale, cresce però anche [...]

  5. Incroyable!!!!!

    Amy Loadman

    August 31, 2011 at 8:38 pm

  6. [...] Paris is a collection of work by photographer Robert Doisneau.  His most famous work, Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville), can be seen here: http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/05/08/le-baiser-de-lhotel-de-ville/ [...]

  7. My husband & I were out thrifting today & we came across this wonderful poster 24″x32″ nicely framed in glass,we both loved it & thought we would google? How Lucky we are to learn about this great photographer & his work~!

    Christopher

    January 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm

  8. [...] Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville [...]

  9. I really want to go on a world tour

    Ashar

    April 14, 2012 at 5:01 am

  10. There will be many comments posted here in the next 24 hours

    HL

    April 14, 2012 at 6:34 am

  11. I miss when people cared to show and dress like this. Times change…

    d

    April 14, 2012 at 6:46 am

  12. The Perfect Click ……………………………

    Manoj Kumar Chaudhari

    April 14, 2012 at 3:38 pm

  13. :)

    stf

    April 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm

  14. [...] Les Halles” ma ormai è diventata una questione privata tra me e lui. Comunque ecco a voi un link con tutta la storia della foto in questione. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to [...]

  15. I am shocked, I just learned that Alfred Eisenstaedt’s the sailor kiss on the V-E Day is a sexual assault picture http://cratesandribbons.com/

    Damien

    October 5, 2012 at 11:57 pm

  16. [...] schermo). Rivedete i due più famosi baci fotografici del secolo scorso, V-J Day in Times Square e Le baiser de l’Hotel de Ville e leggete le storie dei due scatti. Ecco il bacio (per ora) più famoso di questo secolo, e la sua [...]

  17. [...] Picture credit here [...]

  18. [...] propped up amongst the boxes like a piece of theatre is the famous kiss photo by Robert Doisneau,   click here  for the story behind the image…   Its only a few weeks until our French shipment docks [...]

  19. This is a great photo that accompanied me through my photography exploration days. I think a bit of magic got lost when Doisneau revealed it was staged. It took away the fantasy effect and wanderings , wondering about the couple in the pic. Iconic, yes all the way.

    romy

    November 25, 2012 at 8:37 am

  20. [...] Doisneau was a French photographer. He is renowned for his 1950 image Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Town Hall), a photograph of a couple kissing in the busy streets of Paris. The picture above is also a [...]

  21. [...] • Robert Doisneaus iscensatta kyss. [...]

  22. I want to purchase this particular print. Where can purchase it?

    Yolanda hetnandez

    February 22, 2013 at 4:55 pm

  23. Where can I buy this particular print?

    Yolanda hernandez

    February 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm

  24. […] Doisneau was a French photographer, renowned for his iconic 1950 image Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville (Kiss by the Town Hall), a photograph of a couple kissing in the busy streets of […]

  25. レザー 財布 [最新ブランド財布] http://www.paralinterfce.info/

    [最新ブランド財布]

    September 26, 2013 at 12:14 am

  26. […] and all have a soft spot for a particular photograph. You are probably all familiar with “Le Baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville” by Robert Doisneau. That’s my personal favorite. My aunt used to have a poster of that […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,020 other followers

%d bloggers like this: