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Gustave Doré is an illustrator, printmaker, French painter and sculptor, born in Strasbourg on 6 January 1832, and died January 23, 1883 in Paris in his house in the Rue Saint-Dominique.
He was internationally recognized in his lifetime.
In 1843, the father of Gustave Doré Jean-Philippe, Ecole Polytechnique, was appointed chief engineer of the Highways of the Ain and the family moved to Golden Bourg-en-Bresse. The child early donations is a very good student of the college but it is further noted for his caricatures and drawings inspired by the world around him Bresse: twelve years a local printer to publish his first lithographs Works of Hercules. They lead the Parisian publisher Charles Philipon to propose moving to Paris from 1847 where he attended the Lycee Charlemagne and draws together the cartoons for the Journal for Laughs Philippon. He knows fame and soon started in 1848 at the Salon with two pen drawings, but continues to live with his mother after his father died in 1849.
From 1851, while exposing his paintings, he produced a few sculptures and works of religious subjects in various journals including the Journal for all. In 1854 the publisher Joseph Bry published an edition of the works of Rabelais, illustrated with hundreds of his prints. From 1861 to 1868, he illustrated The Divine Comedy of Dante.
Increasingly recognized, both self and exuberant, Gustave Dore illustrated between 1852 and 1883 over one hundred twenty volumes which appeared in France, but also in England, Germany and Russia. During the Crimean campaign, he realizes, as both author and illustrator, The History of Holy Russia, a charge against the country with which France and England had entered the war. It's an album that foreshadows the comic strip, where he plays on the gap between text and illustration, and he uses amazing graphics tricks.
He attended high society and expands its activities in the pictorial component of large paintings like Dante and Virgil in the ninth circle of Hell (1861 - 311 x 428 cm - Musée de Brou), The Enigma (Musée d'Orsay ) or Christ leaving the courtroom (1867-1872), a table measuring six feet high by nine feet wide. This table was restored from 1998 to 2003 at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Strasbourg, in a high room dedicated to him.
Multiplying together illustrations of all kinds (fantastic portraits-charges), his fame is European and it was a huge success in England with the Doré Gallery in London that opened in 1869.
He died of a heart attack at age 51, January 23, 1883, leaving an impressive work of more than ten thousand pieces, which then exert a strong influence on many illustrators. His friend Ferdinand Foch organizes the funeral at St. Clotilde, burial at Pere Lachaise and a farewell dinner rue Saint-Dominique.
In 1931, Henri Leblanc published a descriptive catalog that lists 9,850 illustrations, 68 music tracks, 5 posters, 51 lithographs, 54 wash, 526 drawings, 283 watercolors, 133 paintings and 45 sculptures. The Museum of Brou in Bourg-en-Bresse, for its part maintains 136 works of any kind (oil painting, drawings, sculptures).