DORÉ, Gustave

Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin 1832 - Paris 1883

La Défense Nationale de Paris

The National Defence of Paris

c. 1880

bronze, reduction


Dimensions (HxWxD): 38 34 x 12 58 in.

on front of base: G. Doré

Acc. No.: 1969.16

Credit Line: Museum purchase

Photo credit: Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College 2010

© Artist : public domain


  • England (?)
  • New York, large departement store, purchased by Mr. Gropper
  • 1969, Cambridge, purchased by the museum from the Gropper Gallery


  • Museum's website, January 20, 2013
  • 1930 Dezé
    Louis Dezé, Gustave Doré: Bibliographie et catalogue complet de l'oeuvre, Paris, ed. Marcel Seheur, 1930, p. 157
  • 1990 Neiswander
    Judith A. Neiswander, "French Nineteenth-Century Bronzes in the Collection of the Wellesley College Museum of Art", not published


  • 1969 Cambridge
    Gustave Doré, Cambridge, The Gropper Gallery, February 1969, no. 51

    1974 Chicago
    The Wellesley College Centennial Benefit, Chicago, Richard Gray Gallery, April 26-May 15, 1974

    1982-1983 Wellesley
    French Art from the Nineteenth Century, Wellesley College Museum, November 12, 1982-January 23, 1983


  • Museum's label text, 2011:
    A well-known and prolific illustrator, Doré turned to sculpture in the last decade of his life. This work is a bronze reduction from a plaster original; the composition was conceived originally for a contest sponsored by the municipal government of Paris. The contest was announced in an effort to find a suitable replacement for a sculpture which had been destroyed during the Franco-Prussian War, in Courbevoie, on the outskirts of Paris. Although Doré did not win the commission, his model was later cast in bronze, perhaps posthumously. Barrias and Rodin also submitted entries; Barrias's work was chosen and completed in 1883.
    The bronze, typical of Doré's last sculpture, shows an allegorical female figure standing behind a man dressed in contemporary clothing. The baskets of fruit, the cannonball, and the gunshell are probably references to the siege of Paris in 1871.