A few weeks back, we brought you Salvador Dalí’s 100 Illustrations of Dante’s The Divine Comedy and mentioned that we were saving Dalí’s drawings of Don Quixote for another day. Well, that day has come.
In the early 1960s, a Swiss publisher commissioned Dalí to create a print edition celebrating five real and imagined figures who loom large in the Spanish cultural imagination. The collection was called The Five Spanish Immortals, and it featured sketches of Cervantes, Europe’s first great novelist and his unforgettable protagonist, Don Quixote. The book also paid homage to the medieval hero El Cid; the master painter El Greco; and Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez — someone The Met calls “the most admired—perhaps the greatest—European painter who ever lived.” Cervantes appears above, and the remaining quartet below.