Gustave Doré’s Macabre Illustrations of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” (1884)

One of many busiest, most in-demand artists of the nineteenth cen­tu­ry, Gus­tave Doré made his identify illus­trat­ing works by such authors as Rabelais, Balzac, Mil­ton, and Dante. Within the 1860s, he cre­at­ed one of the crucial mem­o­rable and pop­u­lar illus­trat­ed edi­tions of Cer­vantes’ Don Quixote, whereas on the similar time com­plet­ing a set of engrav­ings for an 1866 Eng­lish Bible. He prob­a­bly may have stopped there and warranted his place in pos­ter­i­ty, however he would go on to illus­trate a 1872 information to Lon­don, a brand new edi­tion of Samuel Tay­lor Coleridge’s Rime of the Historical Mariner, and sev­er­al extra large­ly pop­u­lar works.

In 1884, he professional­duced 26 metal engrav­ings for an illus­trat­ed edi­tion of Edgar Allan Poe’s gloomy clas­sic “The Raven.” Like all of his illus­tra­tions, the photographs are wealthy with element, but in con­trast to his ear­li­er work, par­tic­u­lar­ly the high-quality traces of his Quixote, these engrav­ings are delicate­er, char­ac­ter­ized by a deep chiaroscuro appro­pri­ate to the temper of the poem.

Above see the plate depict­ing the primary traces of the poem, the hang-out­ed converse­er, “weak and weary,” slumped over one in all his many “quaint and curi­ous quantity[s] of for­acquired­ten lore.” Beneath, see the raven faucet­ping, “loud­er than earlier than,” on the win­dow lat­tice.

By the point Doré’s edi­tion noticed pub­li­ca­tion, Poe’s most well-known work had already achieved recog­ni­tion as one of many nice­est of Amer­i­can poems. Its creator, how­ev­er, had died over thir­ty years pre­vi­ous in near-pover­ty. A cat­a­log descrip­tion from a Penn State Library maintain­ing of one in all Doré’s “Raven” edi­tions com­pares the 2 artists:

The careers of those two males are fraught with each pop­u­lar suc­cess and unmit­i­gat­ed dis­ap­level­ment. Doré loved phe­nom­e­nal mon­e­tary suc­cess as an illus­tra­tor in his life-time, how­ev­er his true want, to be acknowl­edged as a high-quality artist, was nev­er actual­ized. The crit­ics of his day derid­ed his abil­i­ties as an artist at the same time as his pop­u­lar­i­ty soared.

One would possibly say that Poe suf­fered the oppo­web site destiny—acknowledged as a terrific artist in his life­time, he nev­er achieved finan­cial sta­bil­i­ty. We be taught from the Penn State Uncommon Col­lec­tions library that Doré acquired the tough equiv­a­lent of $140,000 for his illus­trat­ed edi­tion of “The Raven.” Poe, on the oth­er hand, was paid approx­i­mate­ly 9 dol­lars for his most well-known poem.

The Library of Con­gress has dig­i­tal edi­tions of the com­plete Doré edi­tion of “The Raven.”

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Gus­tave Doré’s Dra­mat­ic Illus­tra­tions of Dante’s Divine Com­e­dy

Behold Gus­tave Doré’s Illus­tra­tions for Rabelais’ Grotesque Satir­i­cal Mas­ter­piece Gar­gan­tua and Pan­ta­gru­el

The Adven­tures of Famed Illus­tra­tor Gus­tave Doré Pre­despatched­ed in a Fantasic(al) Cutout Ani­ma­tion

Gus­tave Doré’s Exquis­ite Engrav­ings of Cer­vantes’ Don Quixote

Josh Jones is a author and musi­cian primarily based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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