Obituary: Robert Doisneau

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The Independent Online
MAY I correct a small, but important inaccuracy in Val Williams's otherwise informed and sensitive obituary of Robert Doisneau? (2 April), writes Peter Hamilton.

Val Williams fairly places the Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville photograph of 1950 within its wider context, and shows the recent controversy over its 'documentary' nature to be founded on a misconception about how photo-journalists like Doisneau construct certain of the images. However, in saying that the models for the photograph 'both pressed for proceeds of the sales of the image', she does Jacques Cartaud an injustice. It was Cartaud's testimony, firstly that he and Francoise Bornet were the figurants (models) in the photo and secondly that they had indeed been paid for their roles, that won the case for Doisneau against both Bornet and the Lavergnes. As far as I am aware, Cartaud (now a wine grower in the Midi) has acted honourably throughout, and never sought any other recompense than that paid at the time.

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