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Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined

Art Gallery Lobby Cases, Media and Public Affairs Building, 2nd Floor

November 16, 2005 - January 31, 2006

Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra, 1547 - 1616


Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra was most likely born in Alcala de Henares, a small culturally rich city, 21 miles north of Madrid around September 29, 1547. His literary career began in 1569 at the age of 22 when four of his poems appeared in a book written by his teacher and mentor, the priest and humanist, Juan Lopez de Hoyos. But in September of that year, Cervantes suddenly abandoned his literary vocation as he became a fugitive from justice, condemned to lose his right hand for having injured a man in a duel. He escaped to Rome and entered the service of the prominent aristocrat who, in 1570, would become a cardinal. In that year, Cervantes decided to join the army of the Holy League, an alliance led by Pope Pious V and Phillip II of Spain, who were fighting the Turks against their attempt to gain control of the Mediterranean. The most significant battle in this war for Cervantes was Lepanto, where he sustained an injury that permanently damaged his left hand earning him the nickname "el manco de Lepanto" (the one-armed man of Lepanto). On his voyage back to Spain, he was captured by Berber pirates who took him to Algiers where he was enslaved for more than 5 years. Fleeing his captors and finding his way back to Spain, in 1582 and again in 1590, Cervantes unsuccessfully petitioned Phillip II to allow him to take a post in the Indies. To earn a livelihood, Cervantes took on such jobs as supplier of foodstuffs for the Invincible Armada (1588), and tax collector in the Kingdom Granada (1594). In 1600, while living in Madrid and Toledo, he wrote the first draft of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha. (The Ingenious Nobleman don Quijote de la Mancha). The novel is inerwoven with the rich, varied and often uncanny personal experiences of its author. For example, in Chapter XXXVII of the first part, don Quijote tells his squire, Sancho Panza, that there are two roads to achieve fame and fortune: one is by taking up the sword and the other is by taking up the pen. Cervantes' enormous and varied literary harvest include novels, poems, plays and essays, but the work that marks not only the pinnacle of his career, but has changed forever the way we conceive and read a literary text is Don Quijote de la Mancha.

Don Quijote de la Mancha, 1605


The novel Don Quijote de la Mancha is often referred to as the "book of books," because it not only centers on the fantasies of its main character who is turned upside down upon reading the novels of chivalry, but also because it centers on the power of literature itself. The novels that don Quijote so avidly reads and those literary texts which Cervantes examines are also the actual protagonists of the work. Before crossing the threshold into a world of his imagination, Alonso Quijano appeared to be no different from any other gentleman of his time; he was a mild-mannered conformist known for "not being able to hurt a fly." The turn towards the "unreal" of don Quijote is prompted by his dissatisfaction with the life that he leads, and his attempt to find a more gratifying purpose, and a life that holds the illusion of a more optimistic future. What he encounters are extraordinary experiences, multiple disappointments, and the impossibility of returning to a past that has been forever lost.
-- Ellen W. Echeverria

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Edicion facsimilar de El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, Tomo Cuarto, Olimpo Ediciones, S.A., Lent Anonymously.

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
(left) Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, El Ingenioso Don Quijote de la Mancha, Biblioteca Universal, c. 1850s, Collection of Juan Romero de Terreros.
(right) Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Vida Y Hechos del Ingenioso Caballero Don Quixote de la Mancha, Tomo II, Madrid: Por la Viuda de Barco Lopez, 1808, Collection of Juan Romero de Terreros
(front) Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, Tomo Primero, Argamasilla de Alba, Imprenta de Don Manuel Rivadeneyra, 1863, Collection of Juan Romero de Terreros

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
(left) Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Edicion facsimilar de El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, Tomo Cuarto, Olimpo Ediciones, S.A., Lent Anonymously
(right) Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, Barcelona: Vision Libros, S.L., 1987.
(front) Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, Barcelona: Ramon Sopena, c. 1923.

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
(back, left to right) Salvador de Madariaga, Guia del Lector del "Quijote" (Guide for the Reader of "Quijote"), Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, S.A., 1978, Collection of Juan Romero de Terreros.
Ortega Y Gasset, Meditaciones del Quijote (Meditations on Quijote), Madrid: Revista de Occidente en Alianza Editorial, 1987, Collection of Juan Romero de Terreros.
(front, left to right) Alfonso F. de Avellaneda, El Quijote de Avellaneda, IV Centenario, 2004, Collection of Juan Romero de Terreros.
Martin de Riquer, Aproximacion al Quijote (Approach to Quijote), Biblioteca Basica Salvat, Salvat Editores, S.A., 1970, Collection of Juan Romero de Terreros.
Pierre Menard, Autor del Quijote, Jorge Luis Borges Ficciones.
Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote de la Mancha, Barcelona: Instituto Cervantes, 1998, Collection of Juan Romero de Terreros.

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
(back, left to right) Azorin, La Ruta de Don Quijote (The Route of Don Quijote), La Mancha: Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, 2005, Lent by the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain.
Essays by Julio Llamazares, et al., Territorios del Quijote, Barcelona: Lunwerg Editores, 2004, Gifted to the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery from the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain.
(front, left to right) Luis Aguirre Prado, Geografia del Quijote, Segunda edicion, Madrid: Publicaciones Espanolas, 1976, Collection of Juan Romero de Terreros.
Azorin, La ruta de Don Quijote (The Route of Don Quijote), Cuarta Edicion, Edicion de Jose Maria Martinez Cachero, Madrid: Catedra, 1995, Collection of Juan Romero de Terreros.

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
(back, left to right) Francisco Castillo, The Way Back Home, linoleum print, ink on paper. 10-3/4" x 8-5/8". GW Permanent Collection
Don Quijote: Tapices Espanoles del Siglo XVIII (Don Quijote: 18th Century Spanish Tapestries), Seacex: Sociedad Estatal Para la Accion Cultural Exterior, 2005, Lent Anonymously.
(front, left to right) Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quijote de la Mancha, Edicion de Francisco Rico, Barcelona: Critica, 2001.
Francisco Goya, Vision de don Quijote
Francisco Goya, La aventura del rebuzno

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
Terreros, Drawing of Don Quijote, ink on paper, 30-1/4" x 22-3/4", On loan from the Artist.

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
(left to right) Terreros, Sketch for Don Quijote Deconstructed, 2001, "Don Quijote has to be Imagined!", ink on paper, 12" x 9-1/4", GW Permanent Collection.
Terreros, Sketch for Don Quijote Deconstructed, 2001, pencil on graph paper, 8-1/2" x 4-3/4", GW Permanent Collection.

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
(left to right) Terreros, Sketch for Don Quijote Deconstructed, 2001, ink on paper, 11" x 7", GW Permanent Collection.
Terreros, Sketch for Don Quijote Deconstructed, 2001, ink and pencil on paper, 12" x 9-1/4", GW Permanent Collection.

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
(left to right) Terreros, "Imagining Don Quijote," Don Quijote Deconstructed, cor-ten steel, 9" x 5" x 3-1/8", On loan from the Artist.
Terreros, "Don Quijote's Column," cor-ten steel, 9" x 4" x 4", On loan from the Artist.

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
(back, left to right) Carlos Alvar, et alia, Los Images del Quijote en el Mundo, Barcelona: Lunwerg Editores, 2004.
Jorge Luis Borges, Cervantes y el Quijote, 2005, Lent Anonymously.
(front) Other Don Quixotes: Spanish Designers Reinvent the Character. Madrid: Limite/Design, 2005.

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
(left to right) Terreros, Diagram for Don Quijote Deconstructed, 2001, ink on paper, two works framed together, 9" x 12-1/2" each, GW Permanent Collection.
Terreros, "Don Quijote and Sancho," cor-ten steel, 14-1/2" x 8-1/2" x 3", On loan from the Artist

Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined
(left to right)Lanza en Astillero
Salvador Dali, Don Quijote, 1971, etching, 7-1/2" x 5-3/4", Lent Anonymously.

Terreros


The artist is a painter, printmaker, and sculptor who received art training in Seville and Madrid, Spain. He has lived in Washington, D.C. on and off since the late 1990s. His interest in creating form and structure embracing space is evident in both two- and three-dimensional formats, as he works in a variety of media. These are drawings and models for the project: "Don Quijote Deconstructed" some of which were included in the exhibition Don Quijote: The Visible and the Invisible in 2002 in the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery. The maquette for "Don Quijote Deconstructed" is a figurative work in which the form of Don Quijote is actually negative space, shaped by a unique configuration of planes, which change with the viewer's orientation to the model.

Other examples of Terreros' public sculpture exist in Spain. His work, "Shattered Column," a monumental piece cast in bronze and cor-ten steel, is installed on the Miguel de Unamuno campus of the University of Salamanca, Spain. In 2001, "Anvil" was installed in the Sculpture Park of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain. He had a one-person exhibition entitled "Desbaratados Nudos" ("Untied Knots") in 2003- 2004 at Orfila Gallery, Madrid. He received first prize in sculpture in Colmenar, Spain for a project concerning Don Quijote, and he participated in "Works on Paper," a group show of contemporary works of art on paper at Osuna Art, Bethesda, Maryland in February 2005.

The artist is interested in "Representing what I think, more than in modeling what I see." Through various abstract forms, such as knots, weavings, and cut-outs, he embraces the poetic inspiration of the human figure in environmental space.

Acknowledgments


The year 2005 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of Don Quijote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra. The year also commemorates the centenary of Albert Einstein's "Annus Mirabilis." Our world has forever been impacted by the legacy of Cervantes and the brilliance of Einstein. Don Quijote: The Real and the Imagined and Images and Ideas, Centennial Celebration of Einstein's Miraculous Year, two concurrently running shows, are celebrations of the genius of creativity in the arts and the sciences. The Don Quijote exhibition brings together sculptures, books, works on paper, and design reflecting on one of the greatest literary works of all time, while the Einstein exhibition's assembled photographs, history, quotes, furniture, and ephemera brings into focus the life of one of the finest and most beloved scientists of the 20th century.

We are honored to acknowledge the co-sponsorship of the event by the Spanish Mission to the OAS (Mision Observadora Permanente de Espana ante la OEA) and we are grateful to the Embassy of Spain, Washington, Cultural Office for their cooperation on this exhibition. We are indebted to Professor Ellen Echeverria and Professor Ines Azar (Department of Romance, German, and Slavic Languages and Literatures.) Dr. Echeverria has provided expertise, enthusiasm, coordination, and scholarship on these and so many other projects. -- LDM


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