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Gustave Dore 1832-1883: Master of Imagination Hardcover – June 10, 2014
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"In the outstanding illustrated and scholarly volume published with the show, and available in French and English, Gustave Doré: Master of Imagination, curator Kaenel shows the immense role Doré played as a “preacher-painter” whose works came to have enormous popular effect as aids to devotion, putting him in the company of great Christian artists such as Michelangelo, Dürer, and Rembrandt." -National Review
About the Author
Philippe Kaenel is professor of Art History at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
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Top Customer Reviews
His published existence beyond the grave and the discount racks has been distinguished by at least one excellent French-language book, 'Gustave Dore: Un Peintre-ne', which, as suggested ironically by the title, was a retrospective of his painting career; his ambitions as a painter were frustrated by vaguely hostile critical responses and public indifference. The Somogy release makes a good case for Dore's talents as a painter being under-appreciated by the fickle French art-crowds, unimpressed with the illustrator's attempt to change hats in a post-revolution society that was still rigidly heirarchical, in many ways. A victim of typecasting. While his paintings were relatively mediocre compared to his accomplishments as an engraver, there are moments of brilliance to be found in his canvases as well, and even his weakest paintings are of interest biographically.
This new volume on Dore, published by Flammarion and written by 'Metal Hurlant' co-founder and French comics great Philippe Druillet, looks at both aspects of his artistic output. There is no doubt, however, that his legacy will be defined by his engravings. Only Albrecht Durer, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Francisco De Goya and Max Klinger rival Dore as print-makers, and all four artists combined did not produce the number of engravings Dore did... by his own account a "mere 100 000 drawings by the age of 33".
This English translation is a typically beautiful over-sized hardcover from Flammarion, and at 330 pages is the most in-depth look at this important artist available, a serious retrospective rejecting the modern prejudice that illustrators are unworthy of consideration. His style and subject matter have a very broad appeal, and this book is recommended for anyone interested in art.