Doisneau's famous Paris kiss pic for sale

25th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 25 (AFP) - The woman featured in Robert Doisneau's classic photograph of a couple kissing outside Paris city hall will put her original print up for auction Monday, more than 50 years after the shot was taken.

PARIS, April 25 (AFP) - The woman featured in Robert Doisneau's classic photograph of a couple kissing outside Paris city hall will put her original print up for auction Monday, more than 50 years after the shot was taken.  

Francoise Bornet's print of "Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville" - Kiss at City Hall - will go under the hammer at the Dassault auction house in central Paris as part of a photography sale beginning at 8:00 pm.  

The house has estimated the value of the 1950 print - which bears Doisneau's signature and stamp - at between EUR 15,000 and EUR 20,000 (USD 19,500 and USD 26,000).  

Doisneau, who was working on a photo spread about Paris lovers for Life magazine, first spotted Bornet and Jacques Carteaud at a cafe in the French capital near the school where the couple were studying theater.  

Contrary to popular belief, the young lovers were not captured in a spontaneous moment of romantic bliss, but instead agreed to pose for Doisneau.  

After appearing in Life, the photograph remained in the archives of the Rapho photo agency, for which Doisneau worked, for more than 30 years before being snapped up by a poster company.  

Worldwide sales of the poster helped confirm the image of Paris as the city of love and passion.  

The photo also sparked controversy, with several couples claiming they were the subjects of Doisneau's work. In 1992, one couple even went on television to stake their claim to a piece of Doisneau's fame.  

The photographer set the record straight that same year, saying in an interview: "I would have never dared to photograph people like that. Lovers kissing in the street, those couples are rarely legitimate."  

After more than 40 years in silence, Bornet surfaced and met Doisneau, showing him the original print he had sent her just a few days after the shoot.  

Bornet and Carteaud did not stay together. Carteaud became a wine producer. Bornet says she is selling her original print and other items to finance a film production company she wants to start with her husband.  

Photographs by Jacques-Henri Lartigue, William Klein and Maxime du Camp will also go under the hammer at the Dassault auction house on Monday.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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