The Story in Paintings: Gustave Doré’s unknown paintings

H e l l . . . .

The Eclectic Light Company

Gustave Doré (1832–1883) is today known almost exclusively as a print-maker and illustrator of many books, although you may stumble across an occasional watercolour landscape or huge canvas of his, and he was a sculptor too. Some of his landscapes are outstanding, but produced during the era of Impressionism have been cast aside by history. I here consider some of his narrative oil paintings, for if anyone understood narrative art, it should surely be such a prolific and successful illustrator.

Doré was precocious child, and started his career as a caricaturist for a newspaper at the age of 15. By the 1850s his illustrations were being commissioned by major publishers in both France and Britain, including a new illustrated English Bible. Here are two prints from that work, which was published in 1866.

dorejudithholofernes Gustave Doré (1832–1883), Judith and Holofernes (1866), print from illustrated edition of the Bible.

The first shows…

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