Gustave Doré’s Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault


La Belle au bois dormant (The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood).

More illustrated Perrault. Gustave Doré’s intention to produce definitive illustrations for his editions certainly paid off when he turned his attention to the French fairy tales. Doré’s work may lack the light touch required for some of these stories but a couple of the engravings—Red Riding Hood in bed with the wolf, Puss-in-Boots—are reproduced endlessly whenever picture editors need a suitable illustration. Doré’s characters can be rather wooden at times but the expressions on the face of the wolf and the girl are perfect.


Le Petit Chaperon rouge (Little Red Riding Hood).

Elsewhere Doré contributes some original details: the court in Sleeping Beauty is usually shown besieged by thorns or bracken but Doré has giant fungi growing all over the floor; in Little Tom Thumb the children are described as knocking on the door of the ogre’s house then being let inside but Doré shows the ogre’s wife greeting them with a shaft of lamplight. These illustrations were published in several editions throughout the 1860s which makes that lamplight beam a very advanced pictorial effect. Incidentally, for those who read the Amon Düül II cover art post a couple of days ago, the figure of Tom Thumb stealing the ogre’s seven-league boots may be glimpsed outside the spacecraft window in the centrespread of Dance of the Lemmings.

Wikimedia Commons has more of the Doré illustrations; there’s also a set at Gallica although the quality of their scans isn’t always so good.


La Barbe bleue (Blue Beard).


Le Maître chat ou le Chat botté (The Master Cat, or Puss-in-Boots).


Les Fées (The Fairies).


Cendrillon ou la petite pantoufle de verre (Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper).


Riquet à la houppe (Ricky of the Tuft).


Le Petit Poucet (Little Tom Thumb).


Le Petit Poucet (Little Tom Thumb).


Peau d’Âne (Donkey-skin).

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
William Heath Robinson’s Old-Time Stories
Edmund Dulac’s Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales
Harry Clarke’s Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault
John Austen’s Tales of Passed Times

One thought on “Gustave Doré’s Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault”

  1. Glad to see Gustave Dore featured, as I’m big fan of his work, especially his illustrations for Paradise Lost.

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