click to enlarge
|Illustration No.||1  |
|Title Supplied||Truth (Athena) and Comedy knock down the buildings of Knight Errant Novels|
|Part||Part I, Madrid 1605|
02.3 Allegorical/symbolic representations
|Color||Black and white|
|Page Number||f. t.p.|
|Image Dimension||230 x 174|
|Page Dimension||279 x 219|
|Commentary||In the foreground, Comedy (with comedy mask and sword) knocks down a gothic castle protected by a dragon (Knight Errant Books, Gothic literature); from a tower of this castle, a dwarf blows a horn (reference to chapter 2:1).
In the background, in front of a classical temple, Athena (Wisdom or Truth with a shining shield) pushes away a deformed dwarf, a four-armed Moorish and a pair of shadows (don Quixote and Dulcinea or doña Rodríguez? Durandarte and Belerma?).
This frontispiece continues the liking for allegorical frontispieces that began with Coypel (Paris: Surugue, 1723 - 1724) and with Vanderbank (London: Tonson, 1738).
Illustration of great beauty (see Comedy's figure); excellent engraving and drawing.
|Notes||1 - "In the Frontispiece the Designer seems to have imbided the true spirit of Cervantes, and to have made a full display of the extravagance of Quixotism or Knight-Errantry. The strong Castles, which have been raised in the romantic ages of Chivalry, are here represented as falling to ruins on the appearance of Minerva, who by the mirror which she holds in her hand, reflecting the rays of science on the edifices of folly, exposes at once the ridiculous notions of romance. The gloom of falsehood being exposed, Truth hastily advances on the mansions of superstition, where the shield is suspended over the castle-gate; which she cleaves asunder, and by putting her hand against the gate the fabric gives way, the pillars separate into their different parts, and the massy building falls to the ground: While the Knight-Errant, with his Squire, placed in the shade, seem to be attempting to defend against the emanations of light and wisdom, two ladies who are travelling at a distance” (by J. Stratford, editor, in London: S. Rousseau, 1811).|