Gustave Doré France

1-9-1832 Strasbourg, FRA - 1-23-1883 Paris, FRA

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Doré, Gustave

Gustave Doré by age five, 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, and subsequently went on to win commissions to depict scenes from books by Rabelais, Balzac, Milton and Dante.

In 1853, Gustave Doré was asked to illustrate the works of Lord Byron. This commission was followed by additional work for British publishers, including a new illustrated English Bible.

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. Gustave Doré also illustrated an oversized edition of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven", an endeavor that earned him 30,000 francs in 1883.

Gustave 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. 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. He was also a printmaker, illustrator and sculptor.

Gustave 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.

Art Movement: Victorian Classisism
Traveled: England
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