Collection Online

Little Red Riding Hood
(c. 1862)

oil on canvas
65.3 × 81.7 cm
inscribed in brown paint l.r.: Gv. (dot under v) Doré (Doré underlined)
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mrs S. Horne, 1962
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
Not on display

Collection of Mrs S. Horne, Melbourne, by 1962; by whom donated to the NGV, 1962.

In the last two centuries, the popular animals in visual arts are often imbued with human characteristics, a process known as anthropomorphism. Gustave Doré’s Little Red Riding Hood is an example of this: the wolf can talk like a person and attempts to trick the young girl and her grandmother in order to eat them. The trickery is, of course, more a human behaviour than an animal’s. Charles Blackman also adopts this approach in Goodbye feet , 1956, an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s famous story Alice in Wonderland. In Carroll’s book, the rabbit is once again more human than critter as it careers around hysterically. Blackman relates the story to his own experience, exploring his wife’s increasing blindness and the impending birth of their first child. Here Blackman becomes the rabbit and his wife Barbara becomes Alice as their world is turned upsidedown by these two major life changes.


Gustave DORÉ
Little Red Riding Hood (c. 1862)
Unknown - 19th century

timber, composition, gold leaf


good original condition


Essentially Louis XIV in style there are a number of frames in the collection with this form. See for example Francis Tattegrain The convalescent (Convalescente) (1884)  and John Singer Sargent, Hospital at Grenada 1912 (1337-3), which retains the makers label of C. M. May.

A variety of makers produced frames like this through the second half of the nineteenth century.