[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 20:29 GMT 21:29 UK
Classic Kiss shot sold at auction
Robert Doisneau's Kiss at City Hall, courtesy of auctioneers Dassault
Doisneau's romantic photo became a popular poster worldwide
The woman featured in Robert Doisneau's classic photograph of a couple kissing outside Paris city hall has sold her original print at auction.

The picture, Kiss by the Hotel de Ville, sold for 155,000 euros (105,000) - more than 10 times what it was expected to fetch.

Francoise Bornet and her then boyfriend agreed to pose for the seemingly spontaneous photo in 1950.

The photo went on to become a poster icon around the world.

An unidentified Swiss collector was the buyer, Paris auctioneers Artcurial Briest-Poulain-Le Fur were quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

Frenchman Doisneau was working on a photo spread about Paris lovers for Life magazine when he spotted Mrs Bornet and boyfriend Jacques Carteaud near the school where they were studying theatre.

Romantics like to believe the young lovers were captured in a spontaneous moment of bliss, but the pose was staged.

In an interview in 1992, Doisneau said: "I would have never dared to photograph people like that. Lovers kissing in the street, those couples are rarely legitimate."

The image stayed in the archives of the photo agency where Doisneau worked for more than 30 years before it was snapped up by a poster company.

Original stamp

The photo's success as a poster sparked controversy with several couples claiming they were the subjects.

In 1992, one couple even went on television to stake their claim to a piece of Doisneau's fame.

After more than 40 years in obscurity, Mrs Bornet surfaced and met Doisneau.

She showed him the original print - which bears the photographer's authentic signature and stamp - which he had sent her just a few days after the shoot.

Mrs Bornet and her boyfriend did not stay together. Mr Carteaud later became a wine producer.

Mrs Bornet said she was selling her original print and other items to finance a film production company she wants to start with her husband.

Hear the story of the photo by the woman featured in it

Rare photos go under the hammer
15 Nov 03 |  Scotland
Historic Paris photos auctioned
09 May 02 |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific