Gustave Dore (1832-1883) – a famous illustrator and author of engravings. Perhaps this is the most popular illustrator and author of engravings in the history of human civilization. There are such actors – you always know their roles, but do not know their names.
He was a real child prodigy from childhood.
Moving with his family to Paris at the age of fifteen, he came with his sketches to one of the publishing houses and immediately got a profitable contract. The publisher was literally blinded by his works and signed a contract on the spot.
Throughout the year, he became the highest paid illustrator in France, and for twenty years – almost the most famous artist in the world.
His engravings are now practically part of the world collective unconscious.
Gustave Dore never studied drawing. And yet, he illustrated the books of Rabelais, Balzac, Tennyson, Milton, Dante, Cervantes, Lord Byron and Edgar Allan Poe. He was known as a sculptor and painter, he was engaged in lithography.
In 1861, the “Hell” of Dante was published, in which 76 prints were presented. The book was at that time seven times more expensive than the most expensive book, but sold as hot cakes, to the surprise of all but Dore himself. Since then, it has withstood more than 200 publications.
In 1866 Gustav published a Bible with 238 illustrations and the most famous cycle of works on the theme of the biblical picture of the world. Of course, there are a lot of angels in them.
In 1872 he published his masterpiece London: Pilgrimage, which contained 180 engravings, for which Harper & Brothers of America was paid more than $ 100,000. Dore worked on this project for five years. Vincent Van Gogh called it his favorite work of art.
In 1882, Gustave Dore was paid 30,000 francs to illustrate the Crow of Edgar Allan Poe. This work was his last.
He died in Paris at the age of 51.
In 1896, the exhibition of his paintings toured in America. The last stop was in Chicago, where his work caused a real sensation. All records of attendance of the Institute of Art in Chicago, in the walls of which the exhibition was held, were beaten. 1.5 million people were able to see his paintings for eight months, this is approximately 16,000 people a day.
The last hour of the exhibition was seen by 4000 people. And all this despite the fact that the Institute of Arts has never visited so many people; The usual figure for him is 600,000 a year.
Gustave Dore was able to achieve great fame during his lifetime: he became the author of more than 400 paintings and hundreds of watercolor landscapes.
But his truly priceless legacy is his engravings and illustrations. More than 4000 published books used engravings by Gustave Dore, more than 10,000 times his illustrations were used. They were used even by Hollywood.
Gustave Dore was simply a genius.