Paris has always had a reputation for being the City of Love and, perhaps, one photograph above all others, encapsulates that sentiment: it is Le Baiser de l‘Hôtel de Ville by Robert Doisneau.
The photograph shows a young couple kissing on the corner of Rue de Rivoli and Rue du Renard, oblivious to the crowds walking past them. It is the embodiment of feeling in love to the exclusion of everything else.
Without wanting to diminish the romantic appeal of the image, it is perhaps lesser known that the young couple in the photograph were models, and the pose not quite so spontaneous and natural as it first appears; also, that Doisneau did not consider it one of his better photographs, and preferred to be known for his more humanist approach, capturing the everyday scenes of Parisian life.
The idea of Paris as a city of lovers is enduring, though. And, today, on the streets and bridges of Paris, it is still possible to capture plenty of images of love.
© E. C. Glendenny
E. C. Glendenny is a bit of an old romantic.