Why are some photographs labelled masterpieces and not others? Can you give the title to an anonymous photo? A nude? An advertisement? The BnF has put together an eclectic selection for this exhibition, in an attempt to answer these questions intelligently and openly. Far from exhaustive, the choice of shots nevertheless reflects the diversity of photographic history. As such, famous shots from great 20th century artists (Man Ray, Brassai, Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus) rub shoulders with scientific studies of rare beauty, and anonymous works snapped by chance in unknown cities at unknown times. The classic definition of ‘masterpiece’ is defied by a simple focus on quality, charm and composition. Without providing a history lesson, the exhibition invites any expert, amateur or neophyte to get lost in the pleasures of discovery – as long as you leave your preconceptions at the door.