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The panel is one of nearly forty similar scenes from 'Don Quixote' which Vanderbank painted during the 1730s. They are related to but not direct replicas of the more than sixty illustrations, begun in 1723, which the artist drew for an edition of Cervantes's novel published by Tonson in 1738. It is not clear why Vanderbank painted this set over so long a period, but contemporary observers like George Vertue noted that he led a dissipated life and was constantly in debt. Vertue noted, however, that he was fortunate enough to have a landlord willing to have his rent paid in anything the artist cared to paint, in particular 'Storys of Don Quixot'.

September 2004