During the 1950s and '60s, street photography was just starting to take foot as an art form, and French photographer René Maltête gave it a push with his candid and humorous scenes.

In 1951, Maltête moved to Paris at the age of 21, and bought a Semflex 6×6 camera 3 years later in hopes of pursuing a serious photography career. His big break, however, came with a series of photos that were slightly less than serious. He became known for his 'stumbled-upon' scenes of street life that teemed with ironic humor, showing how the funniest things that happen in life are often just a matter of good timing.

Though René Maltête sadly passed away in 2000, his work continues to be published and praised. Have a look at some of his best shots below, and don't forget to vote for your favourites.

More info: René Maltête

#1

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

John L 2 years ago

Perfect example of 'gene' matching. :D

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#2

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Marc 2 years ago

Ariel, is that you?

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#3

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Lemur 2 years ago

Took me a second to realize that was a mirror

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#4

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Marc 2 years ago

Don't lose your head!

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#5

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Rosya Baby 2 years ago

third wheel detected

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#6

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Jeremie Guerra 2 years ago

The statue got cold...

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#7

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Fire Bird 2 years ago

If he is waiting for the other guy to make his move, that will be quite awhile. Stalemate.

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#8

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Marc 2 years ago

I guess she didn't shave those legs for quite some time.

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#9

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Jeremie Guerra 2 years ago

"I always wanted to be an astronaut"

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#10

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Marc 2 years ago

I guess someone got (a) cold...

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#11

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Lynn Donovan 2 years ago

For those who doesn't speak french : "7 deadly sins"

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#12

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Lynn Donovan 2 years ago

For those who doesn't speak French : "You are the majority"

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#13

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Caitlyn McCracken 2 years ago

Love this one <3

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#14

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Ironcat_xox 2 years ago

Oh god... NIGHTMARES FOR DAYS

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#15

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Deborah Lloyd 2 years ago

Missionary position?

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#16

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Natasha L 2 years ago

This one is really cool

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#17

Photography By Rene Maltete

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ADHORTATOR 2 years ago

Danger? DANGER?! I show you what I think of danger!

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#18

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Superluminal1 2 years ago

An omen.

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#19

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Mical Joseph 2 years ago

Fake picture, WTC wasn't there in the 50s!

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#20

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Lynn Donovan 2 years ago

"Beware of the dog" :)

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#21

Photography By Rene Maltete

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tatiana gonzales 2 years ago

poor windmill... obvious discrimination

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#22

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Evelim C 2 years ago

Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum?

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#23

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Evisa Isabella Rose 2 years ago

~Lovebirds~<3

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#24

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Alternathy 2 years ago

Take a picture first, help later. Nothing's changed the last few years..

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#25

Photography By Rene Maltete

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GoodWolf 2 years ago

Wait, what?

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#26

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Iskrena Dimitrova 2 years ago

Amazing photograph!

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#27

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Fire Bird 2 years ago

That one girl is thinking twice about skiing after seeing that guy.

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#28

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Sonja Götten 2 years ago

That is what Melons are for...

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#29

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Joan Camerota 2 years ago

En garde

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#30

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Caitlyn McCracken 2 years ago

Those models are preparing to have an innocent gasoline fight

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#31

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Natasha L 2 years ago

I don't think you'll get that ball back...

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#32

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Deborah Lloyd 2 years ago

Early lessons about shrinkage....

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#33

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Lua boots 2 years ago

I live in Paris and I think this one is my street xD... they are still working on that road >_< Endless works everywhere :) yeah... T_T

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#34

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Jeremie Guerra 2 years ago

The arm of the inventor of car blinking lights...

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#35

Photography By Rene Maltete

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GoodWolf 2 years ago

"Your experience may differ"

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#36

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Molly Block 2 years ago

Those pant legs are going to be dirty now.

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#37

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Lynn Donovan 2 years ago

"Finish line" :)

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#38

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Spin Clean 2 years ago

I was like aw ew aw

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#39

Photography By Rene Maltete

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John L 2 years ago

Nature's modesty to the rescue.

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#40

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Alternathy 2 years ago

Just dumping a few holes. Nothing to see here.

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#41

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Lynn Donovan 2 years ago

"Prison" and "Open" : )

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#42

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Deborah Lloyd 2 years ago

Everything needs support....Even the building

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#43

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Gemala Hapsari 2 years ago

picture from Bretagne? (=brittany). Guessing from the lady's traditional hat..?

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#44

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Lynn Donovan 2 years ago

The first poster promotes a fair for young people and families. But the boys seem to have grown up :)

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#45

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Lua boots 2 years ago

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" xD

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#46

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Molly Block 2 years ago

At least she's not tossing out the chamberpot contents!

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#47

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Alenchery 2 years ago

There goes another Christ Impersonator.

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#48

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Lynn Donovan 2 years ago

For those who doesn't speak French : the text was initially "Cordonnerie" (a shoe repair shop) but the blanket hides the "RDO" and we now read "Connerie" (a screw-up)

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#49

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Caitlyn McCracken 2 years ago

This one reminds me of Dali

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#50

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Caitlyn McCracken 2 years ago

A scene from Fargo?

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#51

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Lua boots 2 years ago

Nobody leaves its handbag alone like this anymore in Paris :( ... I want to return to the past

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#52

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Madelene Amendola 2 years ago

Now there's a good safe place to hang wet laundry!

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#53

Photography By Rene Maltete

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icarus feelsgood 2 years ago

you know, those same shoes are in style now

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#54

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Ophelia Vandergurgleduffen 2 years ago

The first hybrid.

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#55

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Stefano Aprea 2 years ago

This is a self-portrait of Rene Maltet, author of all these photos. Here in old age rene-58df9...5d2608.jpg rene-58df9dc5d2608.jpg

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#56

Photography By Rene Maltete

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GoodWolf 2 years ago

I think he's down there for the view

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#57

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Lynn Donovan 2 years ago

For those who doesn't speak French : "Great fire in..."

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#58

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Ostide Calisse 2 years ago

The guy shoveling cement looks like Robert Lepage: LEPAGE_Rob...reault.jpg LEPAGE_Robert@JuliePerreault.jpg

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#59

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Molly Block 2 years ago

Look at those gaps in the brickwork on the road. A woman in heels could NEVER walk on that.

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#60

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Rene Maltete Report

Deborah Lloyd 2 years ago

Looks like Alfred Hitchcock.....

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#61

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Sasy 2 years ago

maybe it has a hole in it, to block out any other light ?

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#62

Photography By Rene Maltete

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Stefan Reiff 2 years ago

Wait! You mean Handel's "Water Music" isn't played IN the water at all???

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#63

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Margaret Trueman 2 years ago

Camouflage.

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#64

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Rene Maltete Report

Molly Block 2 years ago

Nice, but I don't get it?

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#65

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Michelle Ransom 2 years ago

Feed me!

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#66

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Flavia Daiana 2 years ago

A ghost

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#67

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Madelene Amendola 2 years ago

Is sheep jumping a sport?

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#68

Photography By Rene Maltete

Rene Maltete Report

Lynn Donovan 2 years ago

"Chevaline" is a butcher's shop specialized in horsemeat

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