8 April 2008
Gustave Doré (French, 1832-1883)
A Mountain Torrent in the Highlands
signed 'Gve Doré' (lower left)
oil on canvas
20½ x 30¾ in. (52.1 X 78.1 cm.)
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 21 June 1991, lot 22.
Private collection, Bethesda, Maryland.
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Pictures by Gustave Doré, London, 1883, p. 44.
Robert B. Simon, The Journal of the Walters Art Gallery, 47, Doré in the Highlands, 1989, p. 59, fig. 11 (illustrated).
London, The Doré Gallery, 1883, no. 23.
Gustave Doré was a compulsive draughtsman who at the age of fifteen made his Salon debut with an ink drawing of a landscape. He launched his prolific career as a book illustrator with an 1854 edition of Rabelais. This success heralded his later illustration work for most of the great European authors: Shakespeare, Tennyson, Dante, Cervantes and Milton. The Salon of 1851 marked Doré's debut as an oil painter. In 1873 Doré first visited Scotland and he was overwhelmed by the haunting and romantic beauty of the country. This image had a profound effect on his work throughout the remainder of his life. After his first visit he had written to Miss Amelie Edwards: 'Henceforth, when I paint landscapes, I believe that five out of every six will be reminiscence of the Highlands...'. Doré tried to capture these images rapidly, using watercolor for the first time and upon his return to his studio in France used these sketches to execute monumental oil paintings of the Scottish highlands.
The painting has also been called Highland Trout Stream.
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