- Museum number
Don Quixote beset by monsters; Quixote sitting at a table, with an open book upon it, a dog near his feet and above his head monsters. c.1812-20
Brush drawing in grey-brown ink and wash
- Production date
- 1812-1820 (c.)
Height: 207 millimetres
Width: 145 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The drawing is from the Images of Spain Album (Album F) dated to the period 1812–20. This was made from a disbanded and re-used album, suggesting that it was begun during the War of Independence (1808-14) when drawing materials were in short supply. Eighty-nine drawings survive from an album that originally had up to 106 numbered sheets. Their wide range of subjects makes it difficult to find a linking theme and supports the broad date range. All the drawings have human subjects – there are no witchcraft scenes, for example – and only three have captions in Goya’s hand. By turns violent, humorous, erotic and enigmatic, there are drawings of games, duels, violence, poverty and crowds, and the album ends with a group of hunting scenes.
This sheet is numbered 54 and depicts Don Quixote beset by demons and figures from his imagination, a subject closer to themes in the print series Los Caprichos and the Disparates than to other drawings from the album. The drawing comes in the middle of a group of scenes that deal broadly with violence. Writing in 1830, Goya’s friend Bartolomé José Gallardo recalled that the artist sent him a message in London saying that he had thought of producing some original Caprichos with the title Don Quixote’s Visions, in which he painted the fantasies of the mad knight of La Mancha in a new style. The project did not materialize, but the subject resonates with Goya’s interests and this drawing might have been part of the aborted project.
The drawing was reproduced in etching by Félix Bracquemond to illustrate an article by Valentín Carderera published in the 'Gazette des Beaux-Arts' in 1860 (1924,1126.19).
P. Gassier, & J. Wilson, 'Goya: His Life and Work with a Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Drawings and Engravings', London 1971, no.1475; J. Wilson Bareau, 'Goya: Drawings from his Private Albums', exh.cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 2001, no.59; M. P. McDonald, 'Renaissance to Goya: Prints and drawings from Spain', exh.cat., British Museum, London 2012, pp.256-7; M. P. McDonald, 'El trazo español en el British Museum: Dibujos del Renacimiento a Goya', exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid 2013, cat.no.64.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1972 BM, 'The Art of Drawing', no. 291
1976 BM, 'Spanish Drawings'
1980 Oct-Dec, Hamburger Kunsthalle, 'Goya', no. 15
1996 Sep-Dec, Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, 'Goya', no. 294
2001 Feb-May, Hayward Gallery, London, "Goya's Drawings..."
2005 April-Oct, Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, 'El Quijote...'
2012/13 Sept-Jan, London, British Museum, ‘Renaissance to Goya: Prints and Drawings from Spain’
2013 March-June, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, ‘El trazo español en el British Museum …’
2013, Aug-Dec, Sydney, AGNSW, 'Renaissance to Goya'
2013-4, Dec-Mar, Santa Fe, New Mexico Museum of Modern Art, 'Renaissance to Goya'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number