Illustatrations from Hunchback of Notre Dame
Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame has been inspiring artists of all kinds since it was first published in 1831.
It has inspired creative types from painters to musician to dancers, to sculptors and more. And being a classic book it has been illustrated by various artists since the beginning.
So let's take a visual tour of the book through illustrations and other drawings of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
(Pictures are more or less in order as they occur in the novel. Also there are a tons more of illustrations from Hunchback.)
Hunchback of Notre Dame Characters - Francois Joseph Aime De Lemud
This illustration was done by Francois Joseph Aime De Lemud and showcases all the characters in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
It's a lovely ensemble piece that really captures the characters' importance, roles, appearances, and their personalities perfectly.
An Illustration of Esmeralda - by Gustave Brion
This picture by Gustave Brion gives a lovely depiction of the novel's leading lady, Esmeralda.
It depicts her as a lovely young girl who dances for the people of Paris with her goat, Djali. There is richness to this illustration that brings the character to life.
It's one of my personal favorite illustrations from the book.
Another image of Esmeralda dancing but an unknown artist.
This one too has her with Djali. This one shows her grace and showcases small feet, which is mentioned in the novel. However since her back is to the viewer it allows the viewer to imagine her facial features more.
Esmeralda - Pyotr Pinkisevich
This painting-like illustration by Pyotr Pinkisevich focuses on Esmeralda and Djali amidst performing for people in front of Notre Dame.
She is less in a dance-pose in this one but Esmeralda also sang so that could what this image is depicting.
The picture as a dream-like quality and shows Esmeralda's importance by making her take up the most space in the image.
Esmeralda Illustration - 19th century
As you might has guessed at this point in this list, Esmeralda and Djali were a popular subject especially pre 1923, when the Lon Chaney movie came out.
This illustration is one is a more inmate moment between the pair. While not as refined as some of the other, the simplicity of the composition is lovely and sweet.
Esmeralda Illustration - 1890
Most likely this illustration it was draw from life using a model.
It's unclear which part of the book is being depicted or the mood. It looks like Esmeralda is in Notre Dame but as she is not dressed as prisoner or a nun she is most likely not in sanctuary yet.
Despite not have a clear sense of where Esmeralda is with relation to the plot, it still a very beautiful illustration that convey Esmeralda's ennui. The pose is just wonderful and the position of her feet is greta.
An Illustration Quasimodo on a Bell
This is an Illustration of Quasimodo on a Bell and is by an unknown artist.
It shows Quasimodo's deformity but also display with his enthusiasm for the bells which in the books were very precious to him and for a time his great loves.
Pope of Fools - L.H de Rudder 1844
This illustration is by L.H de Rudder and depicts the Pope of Fools, where the ugliest face is given the title.
In the book Quasimodo is crowned the Pope of Fools and other versions have changed to King of Fools.
This image has Quasimodo displaying his face to the crowd through a window prior to winning the crown.
Illustration of Quasimodo - Francois Flameng 1885
Much like the previous illustration by L.H de Rudder, this one by Francois Flameng is a close up on Quasimodo's face as he show himself through the window to the crwod.
You can clearly see his bushy hair, huge jagged teeth, his bulbous nose, and his eyes where one is covered and the other is barley invisible.
This depiction is near identical to how Hugo describes Quasimodo in the book.
Quaismodo as the Pope of Fool - Edouard de Beaumont 1844
Edouard de Beaumont captures the parade of the Pope of Fools.
Quasimodo is shown being carried by the people of Paris. It's a very detailed image and you get a sense of the Quasimodo's isolation and lonely even when he is part of a massive crowd.
Phoebus saving Esmeralda from Quasimodo - Aime de Lemud 1844
The plot of the books gets underway when Frollo commands Quasimodo to kidnap Esmeralda and she is saved by the handsome Captain Phoebus.
In Aime de Lemud's illustration we see Esmeralda on Phoebus' horse while Quasimodo tries to pull her off as Frollo runs off.
The scene doesn't play out quite like this in the novel as Quasimodo is arrested by Phoebus' men by the time Esmeralda is on his horse.
But it's a good images that depicts the scene in a nutshell and make it more active.
The Leaders of The Court of Miracles - L.H de Rudder 1844
This picture by L.H de Rudder shows the leader of the Court of Miracles, Clopin; King of Beggars and Slang and the Duke of Egypt.
In novel these are three separate characters but in other versions to simplify matter these three characters get all merge into Clopin since he has more of character in the novel.
Quasimodo on the Pillory - L.H de Rudder 1844
Quasimodo's punishment for kidnapping Esmeralda, interrupting the peace, resisting arrest, and being deaf with. a deaf Judge presiding over his trail is a public whipping on the pillory and an hour of exposure.
Quasimodo's deformity is less accurate in this illustration but you can see the joy the of people which is countered by Quasimodo's pained look.
Esmeralda giving Quasimodo water - Tony Johannot
After Quasimodo's whipping he begs for water and only Esmeralda answers his plea.
This is a pivotal scene as this is when Quasimodo falls in love with her in the novel.
This illustration by Tony Johannot is rough and very sketchy but the juxtaposition between Esmeralda's youth and beauty and Quasimodo's ugly is very apparent.
Esmeralda giving Quaismodo water - Gustave Brion
Another scene of Esmeralda giving Quasimodo water.
This one is by Gustave Brion. It is more detailed than the previous one but you can't see Quasimodo's face but you can see his wounds and Esmeralda's annoyed stance is a nice touch taken from the book.
An Illustration of Emeralda giving water to Quasimodo - Francois Flameng 1885
This illustration by Francois Flameng is the most detailed rendering of this scene.
Much like the other one by Gustave Brion, Quasimodo is facing away from the viewer. However you can see his wounds and bushy hair. He also appears younger here and his hunch is less pronounced.
Esmeralda also looks a lot more friendly in this drawing, less annoyed.
Illustration of Frollo
This illustration depicts Frollo and King Louis.
Louis visits Frollo to learn about his alchemy experiment and if he has turned lead into gold.
It's a richly detailed image and you can really see Frollo stern and austere appearance.
An illustration of Gringoire balancing a chair in this teeth - 1844
After Gringoire and Esmeralda get married, Gringoire starts performing in the streets for money.
His main trick is balancing a chair in his teeth with a cat on it. This illustration shows this scene. You can see Gringoire's discomfort and Frollo's distain for the poet's fall from grace.
Frollo in his cell - Francois Joseph Aime de Lemud
This image by Francois Joseph Aime de Lemud shows Frollo in his cell where he study alchemy.
It also shows his younger brother, Jehan, poking his head in, sping on his older brother.
It's really gives a lot of details in items Frollo has in his cell and his own brooding.
Jehan Frollo du Moulin
This illustration is of Jehan Frollo du Moulin, Frollo's younger brother, as well Frollo is the background.
This image really shows the contrasts in their personalities. Where Frollo is deep in thought, Jehan draws comical pictures on the wall, which appears to be a rendering of his older brother.
An illustration Frollo writing Anatkh
According to accounts, Victor Hugo was inspired to write the story of Notre Dame de Paris when he saw the word "Anatkh" craved on the Wall of Notre Dame. He thought about the person who craved it and Frollo was born.
This illustration is of Frollo craving the word on the wall of his cell.
Anatkh is a greek concept that loosely means "Dark Destiny." All the main characters in the novel are affected by Anatkh.
Colored Illustration of Phoebus and Esmeralda
This colored illustration focuses on Esmeralda and Phoebus' meeting. The plan is for Phoebus to seduce Esmeralda however prior to the meeting Frollo convince Phoebus to let him hide in a closet. During the liaison Frollo burst from his hiding place and stabs Phoebus out of jealousy and Esmeralda is accused of murdering Phoebus, when though Phoebus is only wounded.
The colors are warm but there is a certain sense of danger as if something is watching the unsuspecting lovers, which is the case.
Frollo stabbing Phoebus - Francois Flameng 1885
In this illustration by Francois Flameng we see Frollo about to stab Phoebus cloaked in darkness.
In the book Esmeralda saw him stab Phoebus so the composition of the characters is perfect. Also you got to love Phoebus' smug face with his moustache.
Frollo kissing Esmeralda - Nicolas Eustache Maurin
In this Illustration by Nicolas Eustache Maurin. It depicts Frollo right before he flees the scene he gives Esmeralda a lusty kiss while she is passed out.
While the rendering of the illustration is well done and richly detail image is very gives off a very uncomfortable feeling. You can see how truly crazed Frollo is in this illustration.
It's a deeply unsettling scene.
An Illustration of Phoebus and Esmeralda in the aftermath of Frollo's jealousy
In this illustration we see a wounded Phoebus and fainted Esmeralda.
This what Frollo flees from after stabbing Phoebus and assaulting Esmeralda while she is passed out.
It's a very dark illustration from a dark part of the novel.
Examination of Esmeralda
After Esmeralda is arrested for stabbing Phoebus and witchcraft, she is put on trial. The witchcraft part involves Djali tellling the time with hoofs stomps and spelling Phoebus with cards both of which was a harmless tricks.
During this trail Esmeralda is tortured into confessing to her accused crimes.
The method they employ is crushing her foot in a vice which they called "the boot."
In this image she looks very vulnerable as she is about to be tortured with the boot.
Examination of Esmeralda
This illustration we see Esmeralda being activity tortured as the vice crushes her tiny foot.
Though this image has a sketchy quality her pain is is evident. Another uncomfortable image.
Esmeralda in the dungeon of La Tournelle - Burdet
One of the more pivotal scene in the book is when Frollo goes to Esmeralda in her jail cell. In this scene he tells her everything and tries to save her only to be rejected.
In this illustration by Burdet, we see Frollo entering her cell but he has not revealed himself to her.
An Illustration of Quasimodo saving Esmeralda - Francois Joseph Aime De Lemud 1844
Arguably the most memorable scene in the novel is when Quasimodo rescues Esmeralda from her execution.
In this illustration by Francois Joseph Aime De Lemud, we see a very grotesque trollo-like Quasimodo carrying Esmeralda inside Notre Dame.
An Illustration of Quasimodo saving Esmeralda
In this illustration we see a more youthful looking Quasimodo triumphantly carries Esmeralda through Notre Dame.
In this picture Quasimodo lifts Esmeralda as if she weights nothing, which is more than likely book accurate as Esmeralda is described as dainty and small.
Esmeralda weeping in Notre Dame
After Esmeralda is saved from execution she must adjust to life in the cathedral far from the life she knew before.
As a vain sixteen year old this adjustment isn't easy and she weeps after she learns of her fate in isolation.
This image shows her crying while wearing the clothing Quasimodo gave her.
Esmeralda dancing with Djali - Charles de Steuben, engraving by Jean-Pierre-Marie Jazet
In this engraving we see Esmeralda dancing with Djali.
It's unclear if she is actually in Notre Dame but her simple white dress and the widow behind them make it seem like she is in Notre Dame in this picture.
Esmeralda in Notre Dame - Ferrari
This illustration by Ferrari shows Esmeralda in the clothing that Quasimodo gave her looking scared on her bed which Quasimodo also gave her as it was his own bed. Djali tries to comfort her but to no avail.
This image is very life-like and was probably drawn from a model.
Quasimodo attacking Frollo in defense of Esmeralda - Nicolas Eustache Maurin
This illustration by Nicolas Eustache Maurin, depicts Quasimodo attacking Frollo after Frollo tried to force himself on Esmeralda.
It's a very detailed image as we see Frollo's shock as Quasimodo violently attacks him in the dark. And we Esmeralda's modesty which is often mention in the novel but never in other versions.
Clopin leads the Court to save Esmeralda
In this illustration Clopin starts to lead the charge to save Esmeralda from Notre Dame as it is believed by the Court of Miracles that sanctuary is in danger as well as Esmeralda. However this charge will lead to her death.
The rumor was started by Frollo so that he could either make off with her and make her his or lead her back to the gallows.
Quasimodo defending Notre Dame - L.H de Rudder 1844
As the Court of Miracle attacks Notre Dame to save Esmeralda, Quasimodo thinks they are demanding her death so he fights them off. This miscommunicates only makes this worst for Esmeralda as the King thinks the crowds wants her death which is why the King send his guards which Quasimodo welcome in not knowing they are the ones who are there for Esmeralda's execution.
In this illustration by L.H de Rudder Quasimodo throws rocks off the cathedral in an attempt to defend Esmeralda and Notre Dame
An Illustration of Molten lead pouring out from Notre Dame de Paris
The highlight of the attack on Notre Dame is when Quasimodo pours molten lead on the Court of Miracles. It's an iconic moment in many film versions.
This illustration showcase this part perfectly.
Death of Clopin - L.H Rudder 1844
After Quasimodo pretty much defeats the Court of Miracles with the lead, the King's soldiers come.
They were ordered by the King thinking that the people attack Notre dame because they wanted Esmeralda's death. The soldiers attack the court and kill Clopin.
Frollo leaving Esmeralda with Sister Gudule - Louis Boulanger 1831
As the Court of Miracle attacks Notre Dame, Gringoire and Frollo sneak in and get Esmeralda out.
Gringoire runs off with Djali leaving Esmeralda with Frollo. Frollo begs Esmeralda to accept him but she rejects him and he leaves in the hands of the recluse nun, Sister Gudule while he finds the soldiers.
Sister Gudule has harbored a hatred for Esmeralda and the Romani as her own daughter was stolen and swapped with Quasimodo.
In this Illustration by Louis Boulanger we see Frollo leaving poor Esmeralda with Gudule who looks to too delighted to help with Esmeralda's death.
However as Esmeralda begs for her life it is revealed the Esmeralda is actually her daughter. The tiny baby show wears around her neck in a bag is the proof. This bag is depicted around Esmeralda's neck.
Sister Gudule and Esmeralda - Luc-Oliver Merson
After they learn that they are mother and daughter, Sister Gudule pulls Esmeralda into the cell to try to save her from the soldiers.
In this illustration by Luc-Oliver Merson we see Gudule's desperation as the soldiers try and force themselves in to claim her precious daughter's life.
Sister Gudule has been praying since her child was taken was to be reunited with her child even if only for a moment.
The Death of Frollo - Francois Flameng 1885
As Esmeralda is being hanged, Frollo and Quasimodo watch from Notre Dame. Frollo laughs as she dies as he clearly losing his gripe. As Frollo laughs Quasimodo throws him off the catherdral in a fit of rage.
In this illustration by Francois Flameng Frollo holds on for dear life while Quasimodo watches on. This occurs much like novel where Frollo does cling for his life and does fall to his death but he doesn't die right away.
Illustrations by Benjamin Lacombe
Some of Disney's Hunchback Concept Art
The Art of Disney movie
Do like these Illustrations?
anonymous on September 20, 2013:
I love the one of Jehan drawing on the wall! do you know who the artist was by chance?
RiverCygnet (author) from USA on August 15, 2011:
@jptanabe: Thank you so much for you blessing ^_^
Jennifer P Tanabe from Red Hook, NY on August 14, 2011:
Oh wow, how can I have a favorite! So many great illustrations, especially of Esmarelda. Blessed by a SquidAngel on the Back to School Bus Trip.