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Overall: 43.7 x 33 x 5.7 cm (17 3/16 x 13 x 2 1/4 in.)
Gift of Brenda and Evan H. Turner 1998.197.2
Catalogue raisonné: Beraldi XI.12
Doré wanted to illustrate the masterpieces of world literature, including Miguel de Cervantes's novel Don Quixote de la Mancha (1615). A parody of chivalric narratives popular during the 16th century, the story describes the adventures of a wandering knight, Don Quixote, and his assistant, Sancho Panza. This scene depicts Don Quixote in the enchanted cave of the Montesinos dreaming that he is shown the body of Durante, one of the greatest itinerant knights. Durante writhes on his grave, begging to be released from the burden of life. His beloved, Belerma, depicted as a ghostly shadow, hovers above the tortured Durante, holding his heart. Heliodore Joseph Pisan, a superb professional wood engraver, skillfully translated Doré's drawings into prints, retaining the dramatic tonal quality of the original. Instead of drawing on the whitened woodblock using only line, Doré used pen and ink and wash to create forms, and gouache to describe highlights. To interpret Doré's full range of grays into the black-and-white relief surface of the wood engraving, halftone effects were devised with special tools that produced very fine white lines.
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