Feriha, Sharon, and Champagne, This is Where We Started, 2010

Inspired by Honoré Victorin Daumier, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, 1870.

After visiting the Courtauld Gallery, we decided to choose Daumier’s painting for two reasons. Firstly, because the painting looked rough and unfinished, this greatly appealed to us. Secondly, after reading about the painting we found the story very humorous and thought through our animation we could emphasize the humour of the story.

The painting is an illustration of a famous book by Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, published in 1614. In nineteenth century France, the book was a very popular subject amongst artists such as Fragonard who greatly influenced Daumier in both style and subject. However, instead of depicting a dramatic scene from the novel, Daumier preferred to simply present the relationship between the two key characters, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

The image is painted in a very loose manner, giving the effect of an unfinished painting, with the figures silhouetted against the background. The loose way of painting also gives an idea of Don Quixote’s unsteady mind. The colours used by Daumier are very earthy, neutral colours, which at first did not appear to be a correct representation of the imaginary world Don Quixote created for himself and lived in. However after further researching the novel we realised that the earthy realism was a representation of Sancho Panza’s view of both the real world and Don Quixote’s world.

Inspired by:

Honoré Victorin Daumier, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, 1870

Honoré Victorin Daumier, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, 1870

This unfinished work is one of several paintings Daumier created based on the story of the idealistic knight Don Quixote, written by the 17th-century Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes. The scene preserves the humour and tragic nobility of the original story, in which Don Quixote’s blind idealism is contrasted with the common sense of his servant, Sancho Panza. A renowned caricaturist, Daumier used the horse and the donkey to express these differing personalities.