On the four hundredth anniversary of Miguel de Cervantes y
Saavedra’s Don Quixote de la Mancha we celebrate the worldwide
literary influence of the novel. The Quixote’s publication is as
widespread as the first Bible printed by Johannes Gutenberg.
Cervante’s work has continued to inspire the Spanish language,
literature, art, culture and editorial disciplines.
Joaquin Ibarra’s edition of the Quixote published in 1780 which was
commissioned by the Royal Printing House of Spain is noteworthy for
its rendering of typography from the period. Ibarra invested
seven years of research and numerous press trials to adapt the
Roman type to enhance legibility by incorporating italics. One
thousand six hundred copies of Ibarra’s Quixote were printed which
was an outstanding achievement in the eighteenth century. We can
assert that the Quixote as a product has contributed significantly
to the development of editorial, print and design
For four hundred years this literary masterpiece has provided a
bizarre and eclectic vision of the world. Through Don Quixote’s
eyes, the fantastic and the profound taking place throughout this
stunning visual narrative.
Artists and illustrators have enthusiastically attempted to
represent the rich iconographic universe that the Quixote’s
adventures have spawned - Gustavo Doré, Salvador Dalí and Pablo
Picasso’s interpretations stand out among the work done by hundreds
of illuminators and artists. Today, a world renowned group of
artists present their unique visual interpretations of the
adventures of Don Quixote in El Quijote Gráfico.
We hope as many generations of readers can come to know the
adventures and misfortunes of this endearing figure’s so that his
story will be still be told in another four hundred years.
Juan Carlos Darias
Director Instituto de Diseño Darias