BONNEL Maurice

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Maurice Bonnel (1923-2019) was an amateur photographer whose work was following the so-called “humanist” line of French photography. A movement to which we affiliate Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis, Sabine Weiss, Edouard Boubat and many others.
Unlike his famous “colleagues”, Maurice Bonnel has never been the subject of a monograph and his photographs of a Paris of yesteryear are little known.
The Parisian work of Maurice Bonnel is disparate. Nevertheless, it should not be thought that there is no key theme in his work. Maurice Bonnel defined himself as a “street photographer”.
His walks illustrated the themes he had chosen: movie theaters, the Seine, children, billboards or shops, when looking for the detail that no one had noticed and for the humor of a situation or a shop sign.
Maurice Bonnel had an expert eye, and this eye was mischievous.
“The Paris of Maurice Bonnel” allows us to discover a Paris of a not-so-distant past which however seems to have completely disappeared.
In all his photographs, the city is present: in the form of a garden, a bank of the Seine, a police officer regulating traffic or an old local movie theater.
We are passing by street vendors, different kinds of delivery men, vehicles from before or after the war, public urinals. But also by facades blackened by coal dust, people doing odd-jobs who were still occupying street corners or metro entrances, concierges sweeping the snow, second-hand shops and markets.
Until now, Maurice Bonnel had never been the subject of a monograph.
The book brings together about 100 photographs, most of them previously unpublished, of a working-class Paris that will revive many memories of the old and surprise those under the age of 40…

Editor : Éditions Michel Lagarde
Publication year : 2022
Number of pages : 112
Language : French
ISBN 13 : 978-2-916421-8