Gustave Doré's London (free ebook)

You are surely familiar with the French illustrator Gustave Dorè; nevertheless, you may not be aware that he also made images of London at the time, which serve as a vital historical witness.

When Gustave Doré first visited London in 1868, he had already established an international name for himself.

Upon reaching the age of fifteen, he began contributing lithographic caricatures and following his father’s death, he began supporting his siblings and mother via his work as an illustrator and reporter.

When Doré was commissioned to illustrate the writings of Lord Byron, it was followed by other work for British publishers, including the publication of an illustrated Bible in 1854.

A companion on his first journey to London, which took place in 1868, was English Blanchard Jerrold, a friend of the family (1826 – 1884) After becoming enthralled with London, Doré and Jerrold began exploring the potential of writing a book on the city together.

In 1866, Doré’s Bible drawings were extremely popular, and he received several commissions. In 1867, Doré presented a major exhibition of his art in London, which was attended by thousands of people. The Doré Gallery, located on Bond Street in London, was established as a result of this show. When Blanchard Jerrol, a French correspondent for the London Daily News and son of Douglas William Jerrold, offered that the two of them collaborate on a full image of London in 1869, Douglas William Jerrold agreed.

Doré’s second visit to London in 1869 marked the beginning of her research for the book. The book was initially published in 1872, first as a series of monthly instalments and subsequently as a single bound volume. The book was titled London: A Pilgrimage, and it had 180 wood engravings by William Holman Hunt. Even though it was an economic and popular success, the piece was not well received by certain contemporary British critics since it looked to be primarily concerned with the poverty that existed in certain sections of the capital.

Doré adored the city of London. He didn’t think it was unattractive at all, but rather vibrant and lively. Even the most melancholy people of the huge metropolis may occasionally be illuminated by the inexhaustible radiance of life. Doré penned the piece. “I’d have wanted to have been a resident of London myself.”

You can watch or download the ebook here in different formats.

Look at the illustrations below ranging from parties in Holland Park , at the fish market in Billingsgate , al Thames and even the Zoo

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