Gustave Doré’s Ancient Mariner

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A final Coleridge post, also the oldest illustrated edition featured this week. Gustave Doré’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was first published in 1870, and the poet’s sombre, doom-laden tale was more suited to Doré’s Gothic proclivities than many of the lighter books he illustrated. Despite their age, these engravings have proved memorable enough to keep turning up whenever an illustration of the poem is required. The ship among the icebergs above is close enough to a scene in the third Pirates of the Caribbean film to have maybe been an influence, while the ice-bound section of the poem inspired one of Doré’s few paintings.

Art Passions has a complete set of these engravings together with many more of the artist’s works. And while we’re on the subject, two of Harry Clarke’s surviving Ancient Mariner drawings appeared in a post last year. A third drawing from the series can be seen here.

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