Daumier painted several works based on Cervantes's comedy of knights and chivalry, 'Don Quixote'. The exact episode here is unclear, but the canvas is a sketch for a larger painting in a private collection in New York, which Daumier identified as Don Quixote charging a flock of sheep. As Don Quixote rides into the middle distance with lowered lance, his squire Sancho Panza, apparently drinking from a bottle, sits upon his donkey in the foreground.
The painting is conceived like a print in terms of line and strong contrasts of light and shade. Colour is confined largely to the brilliant blue of the sky. In the final painting, details are more clearly defined and the landscape is softened.
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Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
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