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Top 25 most famous photographs in the world

Discovered at a photography exhibition or on the front page of international newspapers, these 25 photos have marked our time and the history of photography. 

 

N°25 – V-J Day in Times Square (1945) - Albert Eisenstaedt
The fiery kiss of a sailor and a young woman celebrating the end of the Second World War. 

 

 

N°24 – Dali Atomicus (1948) – Philippe Halsman

The master of surrealism and the photographer reproduce special effects before their time.

 

 

N°23 – Bradley Cooper's Oscar selfie (2014)
This selfie taken at the Academy Awards ceremony holds the record for the most stars in one shot.

 

 

N°22 – Windblown Jackie (1971) - Ron Galella
The First Lady captured by one of the first paparazzi.

 

 

N°21 – D Day (1944) – Robert Capa
The photojournalist watches the Allied landings in Normandy with trembling hands. 

 

 

N°20 – The Situation Room (2011) – Pete Souza
President Barack Obama and his team following the capture of Bin Laden.
 

 

 

N°19 – Dovima and the Elephants (1955) - Richard Avedon

A legendary fashion photograph taken at the Winter Circus for Harper's Bazaar.

 

 

N°18 – L. Brejnev et E. Honecker (1979) – Régis Bossu

An unexpected Russian-style kiss in the middle of the Cold War, reproduced on the Berlin Wall.

 

 

N°17 – Mohammed Ali vs. Sonny Liston - (1955) Neil Leifer

The immortalisation of Muhammad Ali's knockout of Sonny Liston. 

 

 

N°16 -  Migrant Mother (1936) - Dorothea Lange

A photograph that became a symbol of the Great Depression and then a standard bearer for refugees.

 

 

N°15 – Napalm Girl (1972) Nick Ut

An illustration of the horror of the Vietnam war, which helped to raise public awareness.

 

 

N°14 – Mickael Jordan (1984) – Co Rentmeester

A moving picture of one of the most iconic sports figures. 

 

 

N°13 – The Pillow Fight (1964) – Harry Benson

Brotherly image of the band celebrating their success.

 

 

N°12 – Behind the Gare Saint Lazare (1932) – Henri Cartier Bresson

A superb play of reflections captured in monochrome.

 

 

N°11 – The Green-Eyed Afghan (1984) - Steeve Mc Curry

The iconic image of an Afghan girl in a camp in Pakistan, who has become a refugee icon. 

 

 

N°10 – Guerillero Heroico (1960) –Alberto Korda

A portrait of Che Guevara, symbol of the Cuban revolution and then of pop culture.

 

 

N°9 – The Loch Ness Monster (1934) – Unknown photographer

The first (faked) photo of Nessie that sowed doubt for a few years.

 

 

N°8 – Le baiser de l’hôtel de ville (1950) Robert Doisneau

An essential image staged for Life magazine.

 

 

N°7 – Man on the Moon (1969) Neil Armstrong

The first man to walk on the moon immortalizes his teammate.

 

 

N°6 – Black Power Salute (1968) John Dominis

Tommie Smith and John Carlos and their famous Black Panther salute at the medal ceremony in Mexico City.

 

 

N°5 – Lunch on top of a skyscraper (1932) - Unknown photographer

Published in the New York Herald Tribune, this image of 11 workers building the America of tomorrow was an advertisement for the Rockefeller Center. 

 

N°4 – (1963) – Robert H Jackson

The photographer received the Pulitzer Prize for this photo of the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged murderer of JFK, by Jack Ruby.

 

N°3 – Albert Einstein (1951) – Arthur Sasse

A facetious portrait captured on the spot on his 72nd birthday. 

 

 

N°2–  Marilyn Monroe (1955) Sam Shaw

A legendary image taken on the streets of New York to end the shooting of 7 Years of Thinking.

 

 

N°1 - L’Homme de la place Tian’anmen (1989) - Jeff Widener

Probably the most famous photograph, a symbol of the inequality of a fight between students and the Chinese army. To this day the identity of the man facing the tank remains unknown.

 

 

© Justine Grosset, for Zeinberg 

 

 

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