19th Century Matterhorn Drawings Go On Display

On 2 July 2022 a temporary exhibition of drawings from the Musée d'Orsay opened which includes two works by Gustave Doré that will be of significant interest to mountaineers and alpine historians; 'The Conquest of the Matterhorn' and 'The Catastrophe on the Matterhorn' done in August 1865 in pen and ink.

Doré was also responsible for the subsequent lithographs of the Matterhorn ascent, produced in consulatation with Edward Whymper and discussed in this Alpine Journal article of 1995 by Alan Lyall. As you will see from the piece, Lyall had not been able to view these two earlier drawings.

The Exhibition is entitled "Les Arpenteurs de rêves; Dessins du Musée d'Orsay" and is at the Palais Lumière in Evian-les-Bains from 2nd July to 1st November 2022. (Details here). It then transfers to the Musée des Beaux-Arts at Quimper from 15 December 2022 to 13 March 2023. 

The two works may also be viewed in significant detail on the website of the Musée d'Orsay by clicking each of the images below.

Many thanks to Mark Boxer for bringing this exhibition to our attention.


Doré's painting of the ascent of the Matterhorn showing figures clustered on the summit.
Doré's drawing of the targedy of the Matterhorn, showing the climbers roped together mid-fall during the descant.