Wednesday, 14 July 2010

I meant to say…

Posted by Tania Kindersley.

To all my French readers: Joyeaux Quatorze Juillet.

Je vous souhaite une très belle journée.

In homage to La Belle France (do actual French people ever use that phrase?) I give you some of my most beloved French photographers.

The Daddy, Cartier-Bresson:

Cartier Bresson Boy with wine

Cartier Bresson couple kissing

Lartigue, with one of my favourite photographs of all time:

Lartigue My favourite of all




Eugene Atget

And Brassai, who rather amazingly used to read to me when I was small. My grandmother knew him from her days in Paris, and he would come to stay at her house in the south, and read all the children stories. I was six, and my French was not fluent, so I only caught one word in ten, but I loved staring at his ancient, kindly face with its poppy eyes. It was only years later that I discovered the dear old gent with the story book took pictures like this:



  1. Beautiful pictures, thank you for sharing them

  2. Oh Tania, I am so glad you showed and told that addendum. What glorious photographs. They so seem to encapsulate the spirits of the subjects - you feel as if you could walk right into their world and eavesdrop on the minutiae of their lives as they pass you by.

    The little boy with bottles. How unlikely is that in Britain today.

    I wish you a more measured creative outpouring tomorrow. You know you owe it to yourself.

  3. What a fantastic thing to be able to say you were read stories by Brassai! I wonder if he was creating verbal images with his voice, as he did with his camera. Thank you for these beautiful photographs.

  4. No way! Sorry - have loved Brassai forever and now you drop casually in that he used to read to you... Good grief. Lucky lucky you. Am deeply impressed and no doubt shall spend the day now shaking my head in wonder every now and then at the very smallness of the world.

  5. GoldenGirl- thank YOU.

    BrightYangThing - So agree; I ADORE that boy with the bottles.

    Susan - he did have a lovely voice, but it is his kind old face I remember the most.

    Jo - it is rather amazing. My grandmother knew some extraordinary people. She always liked writers and artists the best. The funny thing was that I was far too young to know who he was; he was just a lovely old fellow who seemed to like reading to my little cousins and I. It was only much later that I realised I had all the time been in the presence of greatness.

  6. I had a similar: George Rodgers' daughter baby sat us for several years in our Kentish village, and I had no idea who he was 'till I was in my twenties LLGxx


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