Gustave Doré (1832–1883)

Louis Christophe Gustave Paul Doré, was a French historical painter and illustrator of books. He began to exhibit landscape sketches at the Salon from 1848 at the age of fifteen and showed considerable ability. His best picture, and that which first brought him into notice as a painter, was Paolo and Francesca da Rimini, exhibited in 1863. Doré's ambition was to win fame as an historical painter, but in this he failed. Although gifted with marvellous fertility of imagination and wonderful facility of execution, he nevertheless possessed grave defects. Nowhere are his faults of composition and drawing more manifest than on the enormous canvases exhibited in the Doré Gallery in London, works to which he devoted his utmost energy, but which add nothing to his reputation. It is as a designer of illustrations for books that the wonderful versatility of his genius becomes most apparent. Such works include illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy, the Bible, Paradise Lost, The Ancient Mariner, and The Idylls of the King. These works secured for him a greater reputation in England than was accorded to him in his native country. He afterwards devoted himself to the production of large pictures on religious subjects. Doré also possessed considerable ability as a sculptor. He died after completing a large number of works.









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