Gustave Doré

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Gustave Doré
Doré by Nadar 1867 cropped.jpg
Photograph by Nadar, 1867.
Born (1832-01-06)6 January 1832
Strasbourg, France
Died 23 January 1883(1883-01-23) (aged 51)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Known for Painting, engraving, illustrations

Paul Gustave Louis Christophe Doré (/dɔːˈr/; French: [ɡys'ta:v dɔʁ'e:]; 6 January 1832 – 23 January 1883) was a French artist, printmaker, illustrator and sculptor. Doré worked primarily with wood engraving.


Doré by Carolus-Duran (1877)
Landscape in Scotland, ca. 1875, Toledo Museum of Art
Le Christ quittant le prétoire 1867-72, Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
Le Christ quittant le prétoire

Doré was born in Strasbourg on 6 January 1832. By age five, he was a prodigy troublemaker, playing pranks that were mature beyond his years. Seven years later, he began carving in cement. At the age of fifteen Doré began his career working as a caricaturist for the French paper Le Journal pour rire,[1] and subsequently went on to win commissions to depict scenes from books by Rabelais, Balzac, Milton and Dante.

Les Oceanides Les Naiades de la mer, 1860s

In 1853, Doré was asked to illustrate the works of Lord Byron.[2] This commission was followed by additional work for British publishers, including a new illustrated English Bible. In 1856 he produced twelve folio-size illustrations of The Legend of The Wandering Jew for a short poem which Pierre-Jean de Ranger had derived from a novel of Eugène Sue of 1845.[3][4][5]

In the 1860s he illustrated a French edition of Cervantes's Don Quixote, and his depictions of the knight and his squire, Sancho Panza, have become so famous that they have influenced subsequent readers, artists, and stage and film directors' ideas of the physical "look" of the two characters. Doré also illustrated an oversized edition of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven", an endeavor that earned him 30,000 francs from publisher Harper & Brothers in 1883.[6]

Doré's illustrations for the English Bible (1866) were a great success, and in 1867 Doré had a major exhibition of his work in London. This exhibition led to the foundation of the Doré Gallery in Bond Street, London.[7] In 1869, Blanchard Jerrold, the son of Douglas William Jerrold, suggested that they work together to produce a comprehensive portrait of London. Jerrold had obtained the idea from The Microcosm of London produced by Rudolph Ackermann, William Pyne, and Thomas Rowlandson in 1808. Doré signed a five-year contract with the publishers Grant & Co that involved his staying in London for three months a year, and he received the vast sum of £10,000 a year for the project. Doré was mainly celebrated for his paintings in his day. His paintings remain world-renowned, but his woodcuts and engravings, like those he did for Jerrold, are where he really excelled as an artist with an individual vision.

The completed book, London: A Pilgrimage, with 180 engravings, was published in 1872. It enjoyed commercial and popular success, but the work was disliked by many contemporary critics. Some of these critics were concerned with the fact that Doré appeared to focus on the poverty that existed in parts of London. Doré was accused by The Art Journal of "inventing rather than copying."[8] The Westminster Review claimed that "Doré gives us sketches in which the commonest, the vulgarest external features are set down."[9] The book was a financial success, however, and Doré received commissions from other British publishers.

Doré's later work included illustrations for new editions of Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Milton's Paradise Lost, Tennyson's The Idylls of the King, The Works of Thomas Hood, and The Divine Comedy. Doré's work also appeared in the weekly newspaper The Illustrated London News.

Doré never married and, following the death of his father in 1849, he continued to live with his mother, illustrating books until his death in Paris following a short illness. The city's Père Lachaise Cemetery contains his grave. The government of France made him a Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur in 1861.

Selected works

Loch Lomond
Paolo and Francesca da Rimini
Landscape in Scotland, ca. 1878, Walters Art Museum
Doré illustrated several fairy tales: Cendrillon (or Cinderella).
A Doré wood engraving illustration from The Divine Comedy
Over London by Rail Gustave Doré c 1870. From London: A Pilgrimage
Crusades troubadours singing the glories of the crusades


Doré was a prolific artist; thus the following list of works, though extensive, is by no means comprehensive (e.g. it does not include his sculptures, paintings, nor many of his journal illustrations):

Date Author Work Volumes / Format Illustrations Publisher Ref
1854 Gustave Doré Histoire pittoresque dramatique et caricaturale de la Sainte Russie, d'après les chroniqueurs et historiens Nestor Nikan Sylvestre Karamsin Ségur etc. 1 vol. 500 Paris: de Bry [10][11]
1854 Rabelais Oeuvres contenant la vie de Gargantua et celle de Pantagruel ... 1 vol. 4to. Frontis. & 15 J.Bry Ainé, Paris [12]
1855 Honoré de Balzac Les Contes Drôlatiques 425 Société Générale de la Libraire, and in Le Journal pour Tous [13]
1856 Fierabras d'Alexandrie, Légende Nationale traduite par Mary Lafon 1 vol in 8vo 123 Librairie Nouvelle [14]
1856 Mémoires d'un Jeune Cadet, par Victor Percival 48 [14]
1856 La Légende du Juif Errant 1 vol. grand in folio 12 Image:Wandering jew title page.jpg Michel Lévy [14]
1857[15] Dante Alighieri L'Enfer 70[citation needed] [16]
1857 autumn Ed. de La Bédollière Nouveau Paris, Histoire de ses 20 Arrondissements 1 vol in 4to 150 Barba [17]
1857 autumn Valéry Vernier Aline, Journal d'un Jeune Homme, one large page Dentu [17]
1860–1862 Thomas Mayne Reid L'Habitation du Désert, 1 vol. in 16mo 60 Hachette [17]
1860–1862 Ann S. Stevens La Fille du Grand Chieftain 1 vol. 15 [17]
1860–1862 M. V. Victor Flêche d'Or 1 vol. 13 [17]
1860–1862 E. S. Ellis L'Ange des Frontières 1 vol. 10 [17]
1860–1862 N. W. Buxted Les Vierges de la Forêt 1 vol. 10 [17]
1860 William Shakespeare The Tempest 1 vol. in 4to (London) [17]
1861 Les Figures du Temps, 1 vol. in 12mo (Paris) [17]
1861 Plouvier and Vincent Les Chansons d'Autrefois in 12mo Coulon and Pineau, Paris [17]
1861 Edmond About[18] Le Roi des Montagnes 1 vol. in 8vo 157 Hachette and Co., Paris [17]
1862 Saintine Les Mythologies du Rhin 1 vol. in 8vo 165 Hachette and Co., Paris [17]
1862 L'Abbé Léon Godard L'Espagne, Mœurs et Paysages, 2 vols in 8vo 4 Image:Moeurs et paysages title page.jpg Alfred Mame et Fils, Tours Image:Moeurs et paysages title page.jpg or Paris[17] [17]
1862 Malte-Brun[19] Les États Unis et le Mexique 1 vol. in 4to Brun, Paris [17]
1862 Histoire aussi intéressante qu'invraisemblable de l'intrépide Capitaine Castagnette, neveu de l'Homme à la Tête de Bois 1 vol. in 4to 43 Hachette [17]
1862 Charles Perrault Les Contes de Perrault 11 [20]
1866 Aventures du Baron de Münchausen, traduction nouvelle par Théophile Gautier fils 1 vol. (London) [17]
1863 M. Épiné Légende de Croquemitaine 1 vol. in 4to 177 Hachette [17]
1863 Gastineau La Chasse au Lion et à la Panthère 1 vol. in 8vo Hachette and Co. [17]
1863 Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote de la Mancha translation by Louis Viardot 2 vols. folio 370 Hachette and Co., Paris, and Cassell and Co., London [17]
1863 Les Contes de Perrault or in Spanish Los Cuentos de Perrault 100+ Hetzels. in Spanish by Ledouse [17]
1865 Gastineau De Paris en Afrique 1 vol. in 12mo (Paris) [17]
1865 A. Masse L'Histoire d'un Minute 1 vol., 12mo (Paris) [17]
1866 Victor Hugo Travailleurs de la Mer Sampson Low and Co., London [17][21]
1865 E. Edgar Cressy and Poictiers 1 vol. in 8vo 50+ (London) [17]
1865 Thomas Moore L'Épicurien (French translation) in 8vo (Paris) [17]
1865 Tom Hood Fairy Realm in folio (London: Ward, Lock, and Tyler) [17]
1865 Quatrelles Le Chevalier Beautemps grand in 8vo (Paris) [22]
1865 Chateaubriand Atala 2 vols, grand folio 80 Hachette Edition [17]
1866 Théophile Gautier Le Capitaine Fracasse 1 vol. grand in 8vo 60 Charpentier [17]
1866 G. La Bédollière Histoire de la Guerre en Mexique in 4to (Paris) [17]
1866 Dante Alighieri The Vision of Hell London, Cassell, Petter, and Galpin [17]
1867 Dante Alighieri Il Purgatorio ed il Paradiso Hachette and Co. [17]
1866[23] X. B. Saintine Le Chemin des Écoliers 1 vol. in 8vo 450 Image:Le chemin des ecoliers title page.jpg(not all by Doré) Hachette and Co. [17]
1866 La Sainte Bible, according to the Vulgate, new translation 2 vols. grand in folio 200+ Mame, Tours; Cassell and Co., England [17]
1866 John Milton Paradise Lost 50 Plates Cassell and Co. [17]
1867 La Bédollière La France et la Russie (Paris) [17]
1867 Les Fables de Lafontaine 2 vols. in folio 8 large and 250 small plates Hachette and Co. [17]
1867 Les Pays-bas et la Belgique in 8vo (Paris) [17]
1870 Thomas Hood (Poems) 2 vols. in folio 9 Plates Ward and Lock, London [17]
1870 Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Rime of the Ancient Mariner[24] grand in 4to 40 large and 3 small drawings [17]
1873 New edition of Rabelais 2 vols. in folio Paris : Garnier; London: Chatto and Windus [17]
1876 Louis Énault London 1 vol. in 4to 174 wood engravings Hachette and Co. [17]
1874 Baron Ch. Davilliers L'Espagne in 4to 309 wood-engravings Hachette and Co.; London: Sampson Low and Co. [17]
1875 Michaud Histoire des Croisades 2 vol. medium folio 100 grand compositions Paris: Hachette and Co. [17]
Alfred Tennyson Idylls of the King [17]
1877 Ariosto Orlando Furioso 36 drawings Hachette and Co. (London: Ward and Lock) [17]
1884 Edgar Allan Poe The Raven 26 steel engravings[citation needed] London: Sampson Low and Co., New York: Harper and Co. [25]


  1. Lyons, Martin (2011). Books: A Living History. Los Angeles: Getty Publications. p. 135. ISBN 978-1-60606-083-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Complete Works of Lord Byron illustrated by Ch. Mettais, Bocourt, G. Doré. Published by J. Bry, Paris, 1853. The version at is in French. The illustrations are not attributed to any one of the three named on the title page. A handwritten note at page 5 remarks that another edition of 1856 made no mention of Doré among the illustrators, but his designs still appeared in the book.
  3. Zafran, with Robert Rosenblum and Lisa Small, editors, Eric (2007). "Fantasy and Faith: The Art of Gustave Dore". Yale University Press.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Among English language editions was that published in Philadelphia in 1873 by George Gebbie [1][dead link]
  5. and "with additional verses by Pierre Dupont in cooperation with Doré, 1857." Willis's price current: a catalogue of superior second hand books.[2]
  6. Quinn, Arthur Hobson. Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998. p. 252. ISBN 0-8018-5730-9
  7. McQueen, A. "Gustave Doré," in Nineteenth-Century Art, Highlights from the Tanenbaum Collection, London: 2015, p. 54.
  8. Ackyroyd, Peter (2005). London: A Pilgrimage (introduction). Anthem Press. pp. xix.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Chapman, J (1873). The Westminster Review, Vol 99. p. 341.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Gustave Doré's «Holy Russia» by Bill Kartalopoulos. INDY Magazine, Summer 2004
  11. David Kunzle. "Gustave Dore's History of Holy Russia: Anti-Russian Propaganda from the Crimean War to the Cold War". Russian Review, Vol. 42, No. 3 (Jul., 1983), pp. 271-299. Retrieved 2014-08-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Eleanor Garvey, A Catalogue of an Exhibition of the Philip Hofer Bequest, 1988.
  13. Roosevelt, Blanche: "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré.", page 183. Cassell & Company, Limited, New York, 1885.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Roosevelt, Blanche: "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré.", page 207. Cassell & Company, Limited, New York, 1885.
  15. Roosevelt, Blanche: "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré.", pages 215. Cassell & Company, Limited, New York, 1885. Roosevelt states that "In Doré's catalogue 'L'Inferno' figures amongst the works of 1857, and I shall therefore speak of it as belonging to that year's collection, although it was not brought out until 1860."
  16. Roosevelt, Blanche: "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré.", pages 212-227. Cassell & Company, Limited, New York, 1885.
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 17.11 17.12 17.13 17.14 17.15 17.16 17.17 17.18 17.19 17.20 17.21 17.22 17.23 17.24 17.25 17.26 17.27 17.28 17.29 17.30 17.31 17.32 17.33 17.34 17.35 17.36 17.37 17.38 17.39 17.40 17.41 17.42 17.43 17.44 17.45 Roosevelt, Blanche: "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré.", pages 241-243. Cassell & Company, Limited, New York, 1885.
  18. Roosevelt, Blanche: "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré.", pages 63. Cassell & Company, Limited, New York, 1885. Gustave Doré, Edmond About, and H. Taine were more than contemporaries: they knew each other from college. Roosevelt quotes Doré, "...from that date [1847] until 1850, I occupied myself—sometimes well and sometimes badly—in finishing my studies at the Lycée Charlemagne. It was there that I was so fortunate as to have Edmond About and H. Taine for fellow-collegians."
  19. Roosevelt, Blanche: "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré.", pages 241. Cassell & Company, Limited, New York, 1885. Roosevelt attributes authorship to "Malted": "'Les États Unis et la Mexique,' by Malted (sic) (Brun, Paris, 1862), 1 vol. in 4to." She is most likely referring to either Conrad Malte-Brun or his son, Victor Adolphe Malte-Brun, both noted French Geographers.
  20. Opie, Iona and Peter. The Classic Fairy Tales. 1974. Oxford University Press. p. 134.
  21. Roosevelt, Blanche: "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré.", page 242. Cassell & Company, Limited, New York, 1885. Roosevelt implies, though does not specifically state, that a French publisher published this volume in 1865. For one, she places this reference with the other books published in 1865, for another, she uses the word also when mentioning that Sampson Low brought out a copy in London in 1866. Additionally, an English publication would most likely be translated and have a title of Toilers of the Sea. Roosevelt's line reads thus: "Victor Hugo's 'Travailleurs de la Mer,' also in 1866, brought out by Sampson Low and Co., in London."
  22. Roosevelt, Blanche: "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré.", page 242. Cassell & Company, Limited, New York, 1885. Roosevelt states that the preface was written by Alex. Dumas fils
  23. Although Blanche Roosevelt lists this book as being published in 1866, here Image:Le chemin des ecoliers title page.jpg is the title page of an edition published five years earlier, with Gustave Doré drawings. Roosevelt is most likely mistaken.
  24. Roosevelt, Blanche: "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré.", page 242. Cassell & Company, Limited, New York, 1885. Roosevelt titles this book "The Song (sic) of the Ancient Mariner". The error possibly derives from reverse-translating the French title (Le Chanson du Vieux Marin) back into English.
  25. Roosevelt, Blanche: "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Doré.", page 488. Cassell & Company, Limited, New York, 1885.


  • Delorme, Rene (1879). Gustave Doré. Paris: Librairie d'Art.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>(80 illustrations, earliest photogravures of Dore paintings)
  • Roosevelt, Blanche (1885). Life and Reminiscence of Gustave Doré. New York: Cassell & Co., Ltd.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>(141 illustrations)
  • Jerrold, Blanchard (1891). The Life of Gustave Doré. London: W. H. Allen & Co., Ltd.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>(138 illustrations)
  • Valmy-Baysse, J. (1930). Gustave Doré - L’Art et la Vie. Paris: Editions Marcel Seheur.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>(314 illustrations)
  • Deze, Louis (1930). Gustave Doré - Bibliographie et catalogue complet de l'oeuvre. Paris: Editions Marcel Seheur.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>(103 illustrations)
  • LeBlanc, Henri (1931). Catalogue de l'oeuvre complet de Gustave Doré. Paris: Ch. Bosse.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>(30 illustrations)
  • Farner, Konrad (1963). Gustave Doré der Industrialisierte Romantiker ((2V) ed.). Dresden: Verlag der Kunst.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>(521 illustrations, reprinting most of the Delorme photogravures)
  • Gustave Doré 1832–1883. Strasbourg: Musée d'Art Moderne. 1983.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>(exhibition book: 591 illustrations)
  • Renonciat, Annie (1983). La vie et l'oeuvre de Gustave Doré. Paris: ACR Edition.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>(343 illustrations)
  • Malan, Dan (1995). Gustave Doré, Adrift on Dreams of Splendor. St. Louis: MCE Publishing Co.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>(500 illustrations)
  • Fantasy & Faith: the Art of Gustave Doré. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (exhibition book: 250 illustrations, 40 in full-color, sometimes incorrectly listed as, "40 b/w, 120 color illustrations")t
  • Kaenel, Philippe (2014). Doré: Master of Imagination. Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> 335 pages.
  • Bibliographie de la France (Journal General de l'Imprimerie et de la Librairie) Missing or empty |title= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (annual listing of the books published in France)

External links