Showing posts with label Gustave Dore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gustave Dore. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Travel to Spain (19th Century): An illustrated chronicle of its people and places

Gustave Doré (1832 – 1883) was a French artist, illustrator and sculptor but mainly one of the best engravers ever. One of his most famous works was the collection of illustrations for French edition of Cervante’s “Don Quixote”. Also the work he made to illustrate the Bible is well known. But the majority of Doré biographies never mention one of his most fascinating faces: he was a tireless traveller.

Gustave Doré was strongly influenced by 19th century European romantic tendence and his work served as inspiration for other artists like Van Gogh or Moebius.

In 1862 he made an initiatory travel to Spain and illustrated what he saw with extreme accuracy, visiting cities like Madrid, Toledo, Burgos, Sevilla, Valencia, the Alhambra of Granada… during the following years, he was releasing all the engraves regarding this travel, with Spanish monuments, city views and their people. He represented crafts (waterboys, merchants, barbers, peasants) poor and rich men, bullfights… even thieves and knife fights he saw. His human geography of Spanish gents in 19th Century really impressed me first time I saw it.

Gustave Doré wikipedia bio link here. Text is brief, but has a nice gallery with a complete list of works & references. Project Gutenberg has complete downloadable collection via FTP (I was really surprised about this) here. Arno Schmidt Reference Library has a direct link here to download "Illustrationen zu Don Quijote". It's a 24Mb pdf file with around 120 illustrations, so quality is fair.

Some samples below of his travel to spain;

Birds Hunting

Bullfighting on streets

Matador killed in bullfighting

Teresa Bolsi, female matador

Women at work (Sevilla tobacco manufacturing facility)

Public execution in Barcelona (using "garrote vil")

Fishermen playing cards

Contrabandist with his wife

Knife fighting on streets

Funeral with "jota" dancer and singer

Grand Escorial Palace (Madrid)

Port of Malaga