Paul Gustave Doré was born in Strasbourg on January 6, 1832. The painter, graphic artist and sculptor belongs to the most significant artists of French Romanticism, above all because of his book illustrations. Already as a seven-year-old, he sketched everyday situations, and beginning in 1844 he created stage scenes, inspired by numerous visits to the theater and the caricatures of the artist Rodolphe Töpffer.
At the same time, his first lithographs appeared. In 1848, Gustave Doré moved with his family to Paris, and in the same year he received a three-year contract from the well-known publisher Charles Philipon for weekly lithographs for the "Journal pour rire".
Between 1853 and 1868, many illustrations were done, among others for the "Contes drolatiques" (1855) by Honoré de Balzac, "Divina Comedia" (1861) by Dante Alighieri, "Münchhausen" (1862) by Gottfried August Bürger, "Don Quixote" (1863) by Miguel Cervantes, and the "Fables" of Jean de La Fontaine from 1867.
In 1868, Doré went to London. There, not only his graphics but also his paintings received great acclaim. In 1872 the artist returned to Paris and continued his work on illustrations. In his satirical lithographs as well as in his publisher, he stands in a direct and worthy descending line from the caricaturist Honoré Daumier. Tension-filled scenery fascinated him as well as theatrical staging, which he transformed into unreal dream worlds through extreme shifts of perspective. This stood in clear contrast to the developing industrialization of his time.
Paul Gustave Doré died in Paris on January 23, 1883.