The French artist Gustave Doré has gone down in Art History as one of the greatest book illustrators of all time. And he recreated with his drawings some of the great works of world literature such asDon Quixote de la Mancha by Cervantes. But besides that, Doré also made his career as a painter. And a good example is this landscape of Loch Lomond in Scotland. A work of 1875.
A Memory of Loch Lomond by Gustave Doré
Actually,Dorédespite his success as an illustrator, the truth is that he devoted his entire life to painting, and especially to the landscape genre, which he worked on it following the prevailing criteria of his time. In other words, he presents us with landscapes and views always with a dramatic spirit, pouring his moods or his meditations into those views. Which on many occasions can be both picturesque and spaces with sublime atmospheres. That undoubtedly links him to the great landscape painters of Romanticism, with the German Caspar David Friedrich at the forefront.
On the other hand, we must take into account the many trips that Doré made, which took him through different countries of Europe, marveling at certain natural spaces in the mountains ofFrance, from Switzerland or from Austria. And he too was passionate about the lands ofScotland, wherewatercolor really worked a lot. He himself confessed that he had "returned impressed by that beautiful country, so wild and romantic."
And as an example is this painting of Memory of Loch Lomond. A table that summarizes its conditions for the landscape. Doré eliminates the presence of men in his views. He wants to focus only on the details of nature, on its trees, its rocks or its watercourses. And of course the light effects captivate him. In this case, the sun's rays filtering through the typical black clouds of the Scottish skies.
With all these elements it tends to compose spectacular views. On this occasion he has sought to capture the beauty of that wild nature. A strong nature, resistant to a harsh climate, a place that he has stopped to contemplate, to be ecstatic with him and his power. He even gives it a certain tone of transcendence and spirituality. Something without a doubt very much to the taste of romantic art.
Of course, it is a good example of his talent for painting, and specifically for landscaping. And although Doré had the qualities for it, he was never highly appreciated in this facet of painter, something that bothered him a lot. But it is that his prestige as his illustrator overshadowed this other facet. As well as his works as a sculptor are virtually unknown, both in his time and today.