Seydou Keïta @ Grand Palais

The Grand Palais is exhibiting photographs by Seydou Keïta (1921-2001), now considered one of the greatest photographers of the second half of the twentieth century and a father of the African photography. It is the biggest retrospective ever dedicated to the Malian photographer who died in 2001 at 80, with more than 200 pictures, including about 100 genuine silver-based prints.
Showing off his subjects to best advantage, his mastery of framing and light and the modernity and inventiveness of his compositions all earned him a huge success. He retired in 1977 after having been the official photographer of Mali, which had become independent. His work is an exceptional testimony to the Malian society of his time.
Most of the time, Seydou Keïta does not know the clients packing at the door of his studio to get portrayed. He plays with light to make them look more beautiful and noble. He does not take frontal pictures, but from 3/4, which is a brand new practice in occidental Africa, with the approach of a portrait painter. Moreover, his studio, which opened in 1948, is facing Bamako train station. On Saturdays, people line up to get photographed!

Sometimes, he makes up to 40 portraits a day! Usually, one pose and one take are enough. These pictures of unknowns, in 13 x 18 original print, handled by the master, have  come through a half-century to tell us enchanting stories.
Night session until 10 pm on Wednesdays.

Metro: Champs-Élysées Clémenceau

Telephone: +33 1 44 13 17 17


€10 to €15


Date: March 31st to July 11th

Time: 10:00 to 20:00

Closed on:

Tuesday Am - Tuesday Pm

Preferred time


Address: 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower - 75008 - Paris



Parisian's guide to Paris