Gustave Doré (French, 18321883)
From Dante's The Vision of Hell (Inferno), London, Cassell, 1866
Wood engraving; 14 3/4 x 10 5/8 in. (37.5 x 27 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1905, transferred from the Library (21.36.133)
Out of his facility for grotesque humor and gaslight melodrama, Doré invented some 10,000 illustrations for books and magazines that were duplicated for simultaneous publications in Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Saint Petersburg, Stockholm, London, and Haarlem. With illustrated editions of the Bible, Dante's Inferno, Cervantes' Don Quixote, Poe's The Raven, and a host of other classics popular at mid-century, he was the reigning master of the coffee-table book. To save the time it would have taken to draw in line, he often painted boxwood blocks with tones of ink and opaque white for engravers to interpret by inventing lines and dots.