Purgatory and Paradise
“Translated from the Original of Dante Alighieri by Henry Francis Cary, M.A., and Illustrated by Gustave Dore. Edited by Henry C. Walsh, A.M., Editor of American Notes and Queries.”
Gustave Doré’s (1832-1883) illustrations and Dante’s Divine Comedy have become so intimately connected that even today, nearly 150 years after their initial publication, the artist’s rendering of the poet’s text still determines our vision of the Commedia. Planned by Doré as early as 1855, the Dante illustrations were the first in a series he referred to as the “chefs-d’oeuvre de la littérature.” In addition to Dante, Doré’s list of illustrated great works included Homer, Ossian, Byron, Goethe, Racine, and Corneille. The placement of Dante’s Commedia at the top of this list reflects the poet’s popularity within mainstream French culture by the 1850s.