Gustave Dore Illustrations Of Dante’s Divine Comedy

Gustave Doré’s illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy really are something to behold. And looking at them now, over 150 years after their original publication, it’s easy to see why they were such a big artistic and commercial success in their day.

Back in the day, Doré actually had difficulty finding a publisher and ended up financing the publication of the first book of the series, Inferno in 1861, out of his own pocket because no one was willing to take on the expense of producing the expensive folio edition he envisioned. The fools!

These days however, it’s easy to pick up a [amazon asin=048623231X&text=collection of his illustrations] that accompanied [amazon asin=0141195878&text=Dante’s Masterpiece].

Here are a few pictures of some of the more dramatic plates.

Dante Alighieri - Dore illustrated Divine Comedy
Dante Alighieri
Beatrice And Virgil - Dore illustrated Divine Comedy
Beatrice And Virgil – “Beatrice am I, who do bid thee go” (Inf. II, 70)
Minos - Dore illustrated Divine Comedy
Minos – There standeth Minos horribly, and snarls / Examines the transgressions at the entrance; / Judges, and sends according as he girds him (Inf V, 4-6)
Cerberus And my Conductor, with his spans extended, / Took of the earth, and with his fists well filled, / He threw it into those rapacious gullets (Inf VI, 25-27)
The Erinnys
The Erinnys – The is Megaera on the left-hand side / She who is weeping on the right, Alecto; / Tisiphone is between (Inf. IX, 46-48)

Burning Graves
Burning Graves – “My Master, what are all those people / Who, having sepulture in those tombs, / Make themselves audible by doleful sighs?” (Inf. IX, 124-126)
The Minotaur
The Minotaur – And on the border of the broken chasm / The infamy of Crete was stretched along / Who was concieved in the fictitious cow (Inf. XII, 11-13)
The Harpies Wood
The Harpies Wood – They make laments upon the wondrous trees (Inf. XIII, 15)
The Suicides
The Suicides – Then stretched I forth my hand a little forward, / And plucked a branchlet off from a great thorn; / And the trunk cried “Why dost thou mangle me?” (Inf. XIII, 31-33)
The Descent On The Monster
The Descent On The Monster – Onward he goeth, swimming slowly, slowly; / Wheels and descends (Inf. XVII, 115, 116)

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