An original print of Robert Doisneau‘s famed 1950 image of a kissing Parisian couple fetched $202,000 at auction on 25 April 2005, pulling in 10 times the estimated sale price.
Auction house ArtCurial said an anonymous Swiss collector purchased the print, which bears Dosineau’s signature and stamp on the back.
The iconic B&W “Baiser de l’Hotel de Ville” (“Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville”) depicts a young couple locked in a passionate, seemingly spontaneous embrace amid a flurry of pedestrians rushing through the streets of Paris. The image has been reproduced on countless postcards and posters, bringing fame to the student couple Francoise Bornet and Jacques Carteaud.
Bornet, 75, who sought royalties from sales of the image, sued the photographer in the early 1990s. The lawsuit forced Doisneau to admit the Life magazine photograph had been staged days after he had spotted the two at a cafe.
Doisneau died in 1994.
Bornet’s sale includes only the print. Rapho, Dosineau’s former photo agency, holds rights to the images.