ROBERT DOISNEAU’S FIRST AND “BEST BOOK”: LA BANLIEUE DE PARIS, WITH 130 STRIKING PHOTOGRAVURES
DOISNEAU, Robert and CENDRARS, Blaise. La Banlieue de Paris. Lausanne: La Guilde du Livre, (1949). Quarto, original ivory boards, photographic endpapers. $1500.
First edition of Doisneau’s first book (The Suburbs of Paris), with 130 rich photogravures by Robert Doisneau. From the library of noted photojournalist Peter Turnley.
While photographing writer Blaise Cendrars, Robert Doisneau was encouraged by the well-known poet and novelist “to pursue and broaden the scope of a self-assigned project on the Paris suburbs. He… lent the cachet of his name and talents in writing the text. Doisneau took full advantage, repaying Cendrars’ patronage with what is his best book… When Doisneau began to photograph the suburbs of [Paris], they were still the tough but spirited working-class communities of Julien Duvivier and Marcel Carné. But Doisneau caught them just as they were about to change and expand beyond recognition, making this book a valuable document that looks unsentimentally yet affectionately at a popular idea of the French working class” (Parr & Badger I, 201). Doisneau “saw his pictures as ‘self-portraits… [and] like many of his subsequent books, La Banlieue is organized around topics… The soft gray tones of the gravures here tend to give even the bleakest images a romantic cast” (Roth, 132). Text in French. Issued without dust jacket. From the library of award-winning photojournalist Peter Turnley, who served as assistant to Doisneau, and has covered “almost every important international news event of the last 15 years” for Newsweek, Life and Harper’s Magazine (New York Times). Signed by Turnley on the half title.
Interior bright and clean; lightest soiling to cream-colored boards. About-fine condition.