Art history & the male mind
January 28 2014
Picture: Robert Doisneau, 1948
This photo has been doing the rounds on Twitter. I'd never seen it before, but a spot of Googling leads me to the Iconic Photos blog:
No other photograph was this thoroughly analyzed — or, overanalyzed. The above photo, Un Regard Oblique, has been a fixture in sociology, psychology, psychoanalysis, and gender studies circles since it was taken by Robert Doisneau in 1948.
A couple looks at the window and the man is enthralled by the portrait of a naked woman (very salacious one by the standards of the time) while his wife talks to him about a photo which is presumably more modest. A simple image, but not quite a decisive moment.
For his Life magazine assignment, Doisneau hid his Rolliflex behind an antique chair on display at Romi’s art gallery in the 5th arrondissement. With his usual flair for humor, he had set his camera at the correct angle to the nude to take a series of furtive photos of male admirers. The above photo was his last shot.