Édouard Boubat

Autoportrait with Lella by Édouard Boubat, Paris 1951 © Édouard Boubat | Courtesy of °CLAIR Gallery



Undertaken from a humanist perspective, his numerous travels and reportages around the entire world bestow a universal dimension onto his work. His mastery of the black-and-white image was at the service of an omnipresent poetry. Jacques Prévert wrote, “In the most faraway lands, Boubat seeks and finds oases. He is a peace correspondent.  (Bernard Boubat)

1923 – Édouard Boubat is born Paris where he grew up in the Montmartre neighborhood.
1938-1942 – Trained as a photoengraver at the Estienne school.
1943-1945 – Requisitioned for two years of forced labor under an obligatory work service for French citizens in Germany.
1946-1950 – Return to Paris.  With his first camera, a Rolleiflex, in 1946 he took the picture “La Petite Fille aux Feuilles Mortes” which won the very first Kodak Prize and in 1947 he took the portrait “Lella” which became his most famous photograph. During this period, he began to photograph daily life in Paris.
1951-1967 – Early in 1951, during an exhibition at the La Hune bookstore, he is hired as a reporter by Bertie Gilou, the artistic director of the monthly magazine Réalités. He thus begins travelling the four corners of the world and continues working for the magazine until 1967.
1969-1999 – Becomes an independent photographer and works through the Rapho agency in Paris starting in 1970. He continues to travel widely while focussing on specific themes and countries for his photo-reportages. His photographs are featured in exhibitions around the world and his work is published in more than 30 books. Between 1994 and 1998, he became interested in photograms and created a series of one hundred images of flowers. Between 1988 and 1999, he created his archives with the help of his son Bernard.
1999 – Death of Édouard Boubat. He is buried at the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris.

AWARDS | Recognitions

1947 – Receives the very first Kodak Prize
1977 – His book La Survivance receives the Grand Prix d’Arles.
1984 – Grand Prix National de la Photographie
1988 – Hasselblad Foundation Prize.
1997 – Named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
2002 – Commemorative edition from Reporters sans Frontières (Post Mortem)
2004 – Release of a monograph of 300 photos entitled Édouard Boubat with La Martinière. Project overseen by Bernard Bougat. Book receives the Prix Bernier de l’Academie des Beaux-Arts of the Institut De France for best art book of the year. (Post Mortem)
2015 – Publication of Méditerranée by Filigranes Éditions, text by Édouard Boubat (Post Mortem)


1972 – Femmes, Editions du Chêne
1973 – Miroirs Portraits d’Ecrivains, Denoel
1974 – Anges with a text by Antoine Blondin, Atelier d’Expression
1974 – La Photographie with a text by Edouard Boubat Le Livre de Poche n°7958
1976 – La Survivance, Mercure de France
1976 – L’Art du Mithila with a text by Yves Véquaud, Les Presses de la Connaissance
1979 – L’Ombre de l’Autre with a text by Domnique Preschez, Berger-Levrault
1980 – Au Pays du Cheval d‘Orgeuil with a text by Pierre-Jakez Hélias, Plon
1980 – Préférées, Contrejour
1981 – Vue De Dos with a text by Michel Tournier, Gallimard
1982 – Jardins et Squares with a text by Bernard Noel ACE éditeurs,Le Piéton de Paris
1983 – Pauses, Contrejour
1984 – Journal de Voyage au Canada with a text by Michel Tournier, Robert Laffont
1987 – Lella with a text by Lella F,  Contrejour Cahier d’Images
1988 – Photopoche n°32, CNP
1989 – Les Boubat de Boubat, Belfond
1990 – Le Paris de Boubat with a text by François Cavanna, Paris Audiovisuel
1991 – Arbre-Portrait with a text by Bernard Noel, Argraphie
1991 – Mes Chers Enfants, Phébus éditions
1993 – Amoureux de Paris, Presses de la Cité
1993 – Les Fenêtres de Boubat with a text by Michel Butor, Argraphie
1994 – Comme avec une Femme, Presse de la Cité
1995 – Carnets d’Amérique with text by Domnique Preschez, Complexe Éditions
1996 – Donne Moi Quelque Chose Qui Ne Meurt Pas with a text by Christian Bobin, Gallimard
1996 – La Vie Est Belle, Assouline Éditions
1997 – Mediterraneo, Motta Éditions
1998 – La Bible de Boubat, En Vues Éditions
1998 – Reprint of Lella, Paris Audiovisuel-MEP
2000 – Voyageur de la Poésie, Atlantica (Post Mortem)
2002 – Édouard Boubat, Album from Reporter Sans Frontières (Post Mortem)
2004 – Édouard Boubat, La Martinière Éditions, publication overseen by Bernard Boubat, winner the Prix Bernier for best art book from the Academie des Beaux-Arts de l’Institut de France (Post Mortem)
2015 – Méditerranée with a text by Édouard Boubat, Filigranes Éditions (Post Mortem)