Oil on board
180 x 140 cm
Miguel de Cervantes, a prisoner on the island of Algiers, wrote the first part of the novel “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha”, his great masterpiece, giving us a true and ever-present lesson in talent management and creative excellence, in the face of misfortune and adversity.
“…he became so engrossed in his reading that he spent nights reading from clear to clear, and days from muddy to muddy; and so from little sleep and much reading his brain dried up, so that he came to lose his mind.”
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616)
In the painting, the gentleman appears in the intimacy of his sober Castilian bedroom, sitting, with an open book in his hands, resting his arms on a period desk. His eyes are wide open, his gaze lost, absorbed, abandoned in the depths of his own reflections and thoughts, as result of his unbridled reading cavalry novels. These, protected by an overflowing imagination, will lead him to cross the limits of sanity, making him feel armed as a knight-errant, travelling the roads of La Mancha in the company of his squire Sancho Panza, in search of adventures and exploits, which would allow him to impart justice and do good, and thus become worthy of the love of his lady, Dulcinea del Toboso. Misfortunes, misfortunes, breakdowns and mockeries will bring him the incomparable purity of the values of his so noble heart.
Behind him, there is the female figure of a young maiden who represents Love. It is a sweet and calm love, a courteous love of this Dulcinea dreamed by the character, whose illusion managed to turn into a noble and beautiful lady who was a coarse and vulgar village innkeeper. For this reason, I wanted her to appear, for better identification, dressed in simple and humble clothes appropriate to her true social and economic condition as a poor commoner: shirt, bra and skirts according to the custom of the time.
In the central part, hanging on the wall, a carving of Jesus crucified presides over the scene. Religiousness and faith in God are present.
Above, on the right, a small open window gives way to the light illuminating the room while showing the peaceful and unmistakable Spanish landscape, a path marked with wild flowers under a clean Castilian sky that cuts through the proudly erect La Mancha windmills that, in his raving, Don Quixote later confronted how fearsome giants.
© María José Aguilar
“They say that, since I learned to express myself verbally, I manifested a fervent and unwavering desire: TO PAINT