From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Paul Gustave Doré (January 6, 1832 – January 23, 1883) was a French artist, engraver, and illustrator. Doré's commissions include works by Lord Byron, Rabelais, Balzac, Perrault, Milton, Dante and Edgar Allan Poe. Doré was an internationally known during his lifetime and authors such as H. P. Lovecraft have praised his work. Even today, Doré's legacy continues to assert itself in the realm of comic books and graphic novels. He was briefly romantically linked to Sarah Bernhardt.
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. Dore's 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. Doré also illustrated an oversized edition of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven. The Doré illustrated edition of The Raven is the first edition of Poe's most recognized poem.
In 1869, Blanchard Jerrold, the son of Douglas William Jerrold, suggested that they work together to produce a comprehensive portrait of London. Jerrold had gotten the idea from The Microcosm of London produced by Rudolph Ackermann, William Pyne, and Thomas Rowlandson in 1808.
London: A Pilgrimage enjoyed commercial success, but the work was disliked by many contemporary critics. Some critics were concerned with the fact that Doré appeared to focus on poverty that existed in London. Doré was accused by the Art Journal of "inventing rather than copying." The Westminster Review claimed that "Doré gives us sketches in which the commonest, the vulgarest external features are set down."
London: A Pilgrimage was a financial success, and Doré received commissions from other British publishers. Doré's later works included 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. His work also appeared in the Illustrated London News. Doré continued to illustrate books until his death in Paris in 1883. He is buried in the city's Père Lachaise Cemetery.