Collection Online
Little Red Riding Hood
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
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International
Subjects (general)
Emotions and Mental States Human Figures Literary and Text
Subjects (specific)
bed coverings beds (furniture) children (people by age group) children's stories disguises fairy tales fear wolves

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

This painting is a more detailed rendition of one of the designs made by the great French illustrator Gustave Doré for the fairy tales of Charles Perrault (1628–1703), which were reprinted in Paris in 1862. Here Doré has illustrated Perrault’s original Little Red Riding Hood of 1697 – rather than the later, sanitized versions, mainly for British audiences, and depicts the story’s penultimate moment, just before the triumphant, and satiated, wolf bites off Little Red Riding Hood’s head. Terror was often a key component in fairy tales which also had a moralizing element or subtext. Romantic artists were drawn to these darker aspects of tales written for children.


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.

Unknown - 19th century

timber, composition, gold leaf


good original condition