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Happy Birthday Gustave Dore

JANUARY 6, 2007
Dante sets out on his journey. (llustration to Dante's Divine Comedy, Inferno by Gustave Doré. Plate 1: Dante in the Dusky Woods)
Today is the birthday of Gustave Doré. He is famous for his illustrations for The Bible, The Rhyme of The Ancient Mariner and Paradise Lost. We know his work through wood engravings which we probably have seen in  a Dover reprint.

I think, historically, there's is an extremely fine line separating fine art and illustration. Currently, we are taught that the two are quite incompatible. But as the patina of time washes over all our graphic efforts, the line begins to fade away. Gustave Doré was basically an extremely prolific illustrator yet we are able to view his efforts within the continuum of art over the past century and a half. He was part of the artistic fabric of his world. He just happened to function in a economic ecosystem that looks a lot like today's illustration market: making connections with clients and constantly, joyously hustling his work.
Topical: artist birthdays