Gustave Doré

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Gustave Doré
Soldier Lighting a Pipe. Verso: Studies
Pen and brown ink with watercolor on paper.
8 x 5 3/16 inches (204 x 131 mm)
The Joseph F. McCrindle Collection.

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This sheet filled with loosely sketched studies on both the recto and verso reveals a great deal about the creative process of Gustave Doré. Doré was one of the most prolific book illustrators of the nineteenth century, and these myriad figures reappear (with variations) in several of his most celebrated projects of the 1860s. The long, slender figure with helmet and spear in the upper left corner resembles Doré's images of Don Quixote, which appeared in a two-volume translation by Louis Viardot in 1863. A second Don Quixote figure on horseback appears on the verso in the lower right corner. The short, squat male figure holding two bottles at the left margin resembles the burlesque Sancho Panza from this series. The central figure in watercolor, featuring a Second Empire soldier smoking a pipe, was a later addition to the sheet. Small holes at the four corners indicate that the drawing was displayed, possibly in Doré's studio.

Hal O'Nians Gallery, London; from whom acquired by Joseph F. McCrindle, New York, 16 May 1964.
Associated names: 

McCrindle, Joseph F., former owner.

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