Clase Fine Art presents works by Gustave Doré

30 Jun-7 Jul 2023

Fiumano Clase
London SW1Y 5JQ


The Fall of the Rebel Angels and other works by Gustave Doré

The exhibition explores the major painting ‘The Fall of the Rebel Angels' created by Gustave Doré c.1871-72. Ancillary drawings, watercolours and inscribed first edition literary works enrich this look at the artist's oeuvre.

Paul Gustave Louis Christophe Doré (Strasbourg 1832 – Paris 1883) was a renowned French printmaker, illustrator, painter and sculptor. The famous child prodigy illustrated the American and world's imagination with his versions of Edgar Allan Poe, Milton, Dante, Cervantes, Rabelais and Balzac's writings as well as The Bible. He illustrated an amusing book on Russia and also one on life in London. This latter book left a deep impression on Vincent van Gogh. His illustrious career ended with his premature death from exhaustion aged only 51. He was working on his illustrations of Shakespeare at the time of his death.

‘The Fall of the Rebel Angels' was painted in the shadow of the devastating and humiliating Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) which Doré experienced at first hand as part of the National Guard. He witnessed the annexation of his birthplace Strasburg by the Prussians. His large scale oil paintings such as this one show his dramatic interest in the battle between Good and Evil.

The painting depicts the Archangels Michael and Gabriel unleashing the fury of heaven on the treacherous ex-Archangel Lucifer and his cohorts. The Archangel Michael is seen hurling a thunderbolt at Lucifer in his chariot, with the Heavenly hosts above and Demonic hosts below.