Bacon and Daumier

Daumier, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza (c.1870) Courtauld Institute, London

A recent entry on one of Daumier’s Don Quixote and Sancho Panza paintings showed that the knight’s lance and shield are really substitutes for the artist’s brush and palette.  Even the other way round, when Daumier depicted an artist in his studio, the painter's tools resemble the Don’s spear and lance. I recently read, though, that when Francis Bacon was asked in 1959 what artworks he most admired he cited another version in Daumier’s series of Don Quixote pictures (above), the one in the Courtauld, London, as “among the great paintings of the world.”1 So here he is in Bacon's favorite painting of the Don, riding into a valley, with his palette-like shield and brush-like lance.

1. Martin Harrison, "Bacon's paintings" in Francis Bacon (London: Tate Gallery) 2008, p. 40

Posted 14 Mar 2011: BaconDaumierVisual Perception

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