Gustave Dore

Gustave Dore ALS thanking French journalist for favorable art review, possibly for "London, a Pilgrimage"

3pp ALS on watermarked bifold cream stationery inscribed overall in French and signed by Gustave Dore as “GuDore” near top of third page. In very good to near fine condition, the bottom half of page three removed. Expected paper folds, including some heavy, and a few isolated minor discolored spots. Each page measures 5.25” x 8.125”.  Accompanied by a Parisian bookseller's envelope with "Les Argonautes, Beaux Livres" letterhead.

In this letter dated "Monday", Dore thanked French journalist and translator Louis Enault (1824-1900) for the recent positive art review.  "My dear Enault, How you are likable and good! and how I thank you for the warm lines that you recently consecrated to my work … Yesterday evening … my family, my mother, my two brothers, my sister-in-law and several friends reread your beautiful review multiple times aloud." Dore attributed the presence of "the crowd" that had been gathering in front of his home since the day before to Enault's favorable review. The artist sincerely appreciated good publicity, especially when reviews like Enault's "g[ave] a beautiful and noble idea of the work and a more intense desire to know it".

It is unknown which Dore work Enault reviewed, although it may have been the engraver's 1872 work "London, a Pilgrimage." In this letter, Dore mentioned his hope that the "English Press" would favorably evaluate his work. Dore was extremely popular in England, and even had a gallery on London's Bond Street.

"London, a Pilgrimage" was a collection of 180 original Dore engravings depicting Victorian London. The English version published in 1872 was accompanied by text written by Daily News reporter William Blanchard Jerrold (1826-1884). Dore's correspondent Louis Enault produced a French language version of "Londres, un pelerinage" four years later with his own text.

Dore and Jerrold scoured London as early as 1868 gathering material for their visual and verbal sketches, sometimes under police protection in seedier areas. Dore's illustrations depicted the beautiful and affluent: aristocrats at balls, horse races, and croquet games; but also the poor and miserable: prisoners, the homeless, flower sellers, and mendicants. Dore and Jerrold were criticized for their negative characterization of an overcrowded, dirty, and dangerous contemporary London.

Gustave Dore (1832-1883) was a French sculptor, caricaturist, printmaker, and illustrator whose artistic career began with newspaper cartoons published at age fifteen. He produced works in multiple media but gained prominence as an illustrator. Dore went on to illustrate scenes from popular seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century novels and even the Bible.

Item: 63502

Price: $900.00
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Gustave Dore
Gustave Dore
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