Robert Doisneau is one of the most important representatives of humanistic photography. For many years he has been looked upon as the minstrel of picturesque Paris, with a charming eye and a unique sense of the unexpected visual anecdote. As a result he has been championed as a poet of the "pure" moment. Doisneau's oeuvre is however much deeper and complex than that reputation suggests.
Contemplating his work as a whole, one discovers Doisneau's pleasure in creating a language to capture the treasures of everyday life. The sensitivity and naturalism of his approach slowly reveal themselves: his images of the modest architecture of the Parisian suburbs for example display gravity, irony and even a degree of hard-heartedness.
From Craft to Art presents these treasures alongside a new version of Jean-François Chevrier's essay, first published in 1983, which explores Doisneau's rare ability to capture "the shining melancholy that separates an individual from the crowd".