Parisian stories by Robert Doisneau at the Documentary Photo Center

Documentary Photo Center

May 17, 2019 / August 18, 2019

Telliskivi 60a


The French Institute of Estonia and the Documentary Photo Center present: the most beautiful Parisian stories by Robert Doisneau, the legend of French photography in the retrospective in Tallinn from May 17 to August 18!

« Yes, I stole a treasure, but deep down, I only borrowed it. I’m going to return this treasure that people carried with them without being aware of it ».
Robert Doisneau

Robert Doisneau is one of the most renowned French photographers of the 20th century. He has captured the emotions and daily life of nearly a century, in France and elsewhere.

The French Institute of Estonia and the Documentary Photo Center (Dokfoto Keskus) offer the public a live encounter with Robert Doisneau’s work, through 80 legendary photos.

With the selection of images entitled A l’imparfait de l’objectif, Robert Doisneau tells the authentic story of Paris and its suburbs, its most humble and true characters and kisses stolen. In his photographs, the place is not a simple setting, but a permanent dialogue with the characters, even if not focused: the city reveals itself in all its magnificence even when it assumes coherence through the contrast between shadow and light. Everything seems to be dynamic and slow, past and present, sad and ironic, evocative and moving, bright and blurry, perfect in its imperfection. 

To capture the right image, the photographer liked to use the verb “catch” instead of “hunt” because he believed that patience was a fundamental virtue. He moves with the awareness that the atypical can be anywhere, that the imperfect can hide even behind an old door. The essential thing is to perceive, anticipate and wait for it.
The elderly become a non-place to investigate, a memory to record, a context – such as a bistro or the quays of the Seine – that can at any time offer the atypical chance, catapulting us into a strangely familiar and common dimension: normal people, wonderfully imperfect.
There are urban characters and places that, although not meeting particular beauty requirements, can have an attractive effect. Their unique charm is probably imperfect. We admire beauty, but we are passionate about something that surprises us with its strength and expressive power. The perfect is enhanced in the imperfect because our attention is focused on emotions and gestures. Doisneau discovered the secret of life by returning to human truth in its beautiful contradictions and imperfections.

For the first time, the Estonian public has the opportunity to discover this retrospective of 80 photos which includes a palette of captures of post-war Parisian life, childhood moments, celebrities and unforgettable moments – everything that makes Doisneau an important and unique photographer. Even half a century later, the tenderness, humor, love, nostalgia, and irony of his photos still speak to the public.

At Documentary Photo Center / Dokfoto keskus at Telliskivi 60a, Tallinn,

From May 17 until August 18, 2019! 

Thank you to all our partners: Dokfoto KeskusAtelier Robert DoisneauFrench Embassy in EstoniaTallink GruppAS PrikeSaint-Gobain GlassCity MotorsTaevas OgilvyTelliskivi LoomelinnakPrintwiseClear ChannelEesti Kultuurkapital


Robert Doisneau

Robert Doisneau

Read this article in: Français, Eesti,

French courses in Tallinn from January 2020

Looking for the best place to learn French in Tallinn? Come and join the French Institute of Estonia! Our courses combine theory and practice, oral and written skills in a cozy Frenchy atmosphere. Our French teachers are professionals who give beginners a strong foundation and help to perfect...

Read more

French courses


January 30, 2020

Does the nature of technology render it incompatible with the environment, or is tech a beacon of hope? Can a solution to climate change be found using business/start-up logic? Who governs technology: politicians, engineers, entrepreneurs or technology itself?   The French Institute of...

Read more

debateNuit des Idées

French intensive courses

The French Institute offers a selection of week-long intensive courses which help to review some basic knowledge and to strengthen your level!   ⇒ The courses will take place from Monday to Friday at the French Institute. ⇒ 10 x 60 minutes. ⇒ Price: 93.33 €. ⇒ Levels A0, A1,...

Read more

intensive courseLearning French