Illustration from 'Les Contes Drolatiques', by Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) engraved by Riault, 1855 (engraving) (b/w photo), Dore, Gustave (1832-83) (after) / Private Collection / Giraudon / The Bridgeman Art Library
Gustave Doré (1832 – 1883) was a French printmaker who created dramatic, black and white images of a menacing, nightmarish purgatory. Doré's artistic genius emerged when he was 5. By age 16, he was France’s highest-paid illustrator. Doré is best known for his highly detailed, wood-engraved illustrations of “Inferno,” “Don Quixote,” “The Raven” and the Bible. Producing 10,000 engravings in his lifetime, Doré employed over 40 block cutters. Still the world’s most popular illustrator, Doré strongly inspired Van Gogh and the Symbolists.