Paul Gustave Doré (1832-83) is the most popular and successful French book illustrator of the mid 19th century. Doré became very widely known for his illustrations to such books as Dante’s Inferno (1861), Don Quixote (1862), and the Bible (1866), and he helped to give European currency to the illustrated book of large.
Doré was born in Strasbourg and his first illustrated story was published at the age of fifteen. Doré began work as a literary illustrator in Paris. Doré commissions include works 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 1863, Doré illustrated a French edition of Cervantes’s Don Quixote, and his illustrations of the knight and his squire Sancho Panza have become so famous that they have influenced subsequent readers, artists, and stage and film directors’ ideas of the physical “look” of the two characters.
Doré also illustrated an oversized edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, an endeavor that earned him 30,000 francs from publisher Harper & Brothers in 1883.