Whether you’re a lover of all things French, classic photography, music or all three, there’s a new book that you’ll want on your coffee table this February.
Robert Doisneau: Music was curated by the famed French photographer’s granddaughter Clementine Deroudille to accompany an exhibition at the Philharmonie de Paris. The book is filled with 200 black and white photographs that show not only the photographers style in editing which includes special effects, photomontage, collage, photo distortions and splits, but also the humorous side of the man behind the lens.
I have always contended that I came to photography by ear: I was scraping away on the violin as a child from the age of five… My music stand was set up beneath a tall mirror. I had a good view of the room behind me, and it was easy to watch the young lady who gave piano lessons. Her hair was like a halo of sunshine, and my violin teacher observed her attentively. With my improvised rear-view mirror, I was the conductor of the ballet that was in progress… My powers of observation became acute.” – Robert Doisneau
Eartha Kitt, 1950
You’ll appreciate the master photographers love for the music world that truly comes to life once again as you flip through the pages of the book. For those of you with a passion for classical music, jazz, be-bop, and the early days of rap and rock you’ll recognize such well known musicians as Eartha Kitt, Django Reinhardt, and Yehudi Menuhin. The book spans the music scene from the 1950’s through to the 1990’s, and includes many previously unpublished photographs.
Bill Coleman, October 1951
My favorite part of the book was Doisneau’s series of photographs with cellist Maurice Baquet, including The Bow, 1959 (pg. 136) Homage to Saint-Saens, 1957 (pg. 146) and Cello in the Rain, 1957 (pg. 159) which features of scene of Baquet standing on a cube holding an umbrella over his cello case.
About the Author:
Robert Doisneau (1912-1994) was a major photographer whose work appeared in Life, Paris Match, and Vogue. Major posthumous retrospectives of his work were held in Paris, Chicago, and New York. Flammarion has published numerous volumes devoted to his work including Robert Doisneau: Paris, Doisneau: Portraits of Artists, Robert Doisneau: Palm Springs 1960, Robert Doisneau: Paris, Les Halles Market, The Best of Doisneau: Paris, and Robert Doisneau: The Vogue Years. His granddaughter Clementine Deroudille, a radio and documentary producer, curated the accompanying exhibition at the Philharmonie de Paris. – Rizzoli New York
Claude Abadie’s Orchestra, 1945 (Boris Vian on trumpet, Alain Vian on drums and Lelio Vian on guitar)
Robert Doisneau: Music will be available on February 5th and you can purchase your copy here.
Many thanks to Rizzoli New York for the opportunity to review this book and share about it here on The Avid Pen.
Note: All images in this post about © Robert Doisneau: Music by Robert Doisneau and Clementine Deroudille Flammarion, 2019.