Print, Study for Don Quixote
This is a Print. It was written by Miguel de Cervantes and designed by E. McKnight Kauffer and published by Nonesuch Press and printed by The Curwen Press. It is dated 1930 and we acquired it in 1963. Its medium is lithograph with hand-colored additions in brush and blue and gray watercolor. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.
For his illustrations of Don Quixote, Kauffer expressed the psychological unraveling of the protagonist as he assumes the persona of a knight and undertakes a quest of honor and love. Kauffer’s own struggle with the project’s deadlines echoed the emotional collapse of Don Quixote. He wrote in a 1928 letter to a friend, “In the meantime my ‘Quixote’ remains a dream. Poor fellow he lies in a heap—of only lines and . . . patterns—none of them yet put together.”
Creativity Under Pressure
Kauffer was open with those closest to him about his battles with illness, depression, and self-doubt, which often worsened in the face of mounting deadlines. Yet some dismissed his hardship as typical of an artist deeply immersed in his work. In 1925, the press reported on Kauffer’s delay in completing the illustrations for The Anatomy of Melancholy as being due to “overstrain” and poor health. Kauffer was often overworked, and artistic integrity and perfectionism frequently came at the expense of his emotional, physical and financial well-being.
This object was
Mrs. Edward McKnight Kauffer.
It is credited
Gift of Mrs. E. McKnight Kauffer.
Its dimensions are
22.9 × 14.9 cm (9 in. × 5 7/8 in.)
Cite this object as
Print, Study for Don Quixote; Written by Miguel de Cervantes (Spanish, 1547–1616); USA; lithograph with hand-colored additions in brush and blue and gray watercolor; 22.9 × 14.9 cm (9 in. × 5 7/8 in.); Gift of Mrs. E. McKnight Kauffer; 1963-39-350-c