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Robert Doisneau was born in 1912 in Gentilly, in the Parisian suburbs. An unexciting youth spent behind the macramé curtains of a petty-bourgeois family, at 15 he learned the vocation of lithograph engraving at the Estienne school and begin working by drawing pharmaceutical labels.
Having become an independent photographer, and even if he was obligated to do made-to-order work on a daily basis for material reasons, he accumulated images which brought him success. He did so by obstinately going about “there where there is nothing to see”, privileging fleeting moments and small pleasures, enlightened by the sun’s rays on the asphalt of the cities.
When he died in April 1994, he left behind him some 450,000 negatives which tell the story of his era with a tender and gracious amusement which should not, however, mask the deepness of the reflection, the true insolence vis à vis power and authority, and the die-hard spirit of independence.
Robert Doisneau lived, at the age of 7, one year with his mother at the Mialet Château, near Neuvic, in the Corrèze Department. He returned afterwards several times to the Limousin Region, in particular to the home of his painter friend Sanfourche. He left behind four series of images of the Limousin Region : one on nature and fishing in the Corrèze Department (1964), one on tapestry with a report on the Tabard weaving workshop in Aubusson, one on the cult of saints in Saint-Léonard-de-Noblat (1951), and finally, one on the porcelain industry at the Tharaud Factory of Limoges (1951).
This image issued from the series done in 1945 for a report that appeared in Le Point in March 1946.
Doisneau en Limousin, photos de Robert Doisneau, paroles de Sanfourche, éditions Culture & Patrimoine en Limousin, 1999.