Date: French printmaker, painter, sculptor, 1832–1883
Biography: French artist, printmaker, illustrator and sculptor, Doré worked primarily with wood engraving. Born in Strasbourg he began his career at age 15, 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, 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 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. In the 1860s he illustrated a French edition of Cervantes's Don Quixote. Doré also illustrated an oversized edition of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven". Doré's illustrations for the English Bible (1866) were a great success, and in 1867 a major exhibition of his work was held in London. This exhibition led to the foundation of the Doré Gallery in Bond Street, London.
In 1869, Blanchard Jerrold, the son of Douglas William Jerrold, suggested that they work together to produce a comprehensive portrait of London. In order to complete the project, Doré signed a five-year contract with the publishers Grant & Co that involved his staying in London for three months a year. 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. 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.