Sancho Panza thumbnail 1
Sancho Panza thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 122

Sancho Panza

Oil Painting
1839 (made)
Artist/Maker

Object Type
Oil paintings such as this with subjects taken from popular literature steadily replaced commissions for history paintings in the early 19th century. The public and most collectors of modern works moved to a preference for lighter and sometimes more sentimental themes.

Subjects Depicted
In Cervantes' novel Don Quixote, the adventures of the Don's servant, the lazy, greedy and completely unidealistic Sancho Panza, was the source of many humorous and, to modern tastes, cruel adventures. Here the gourmand Sancho Panza is shown enduring what was to him a torment. A physician is waving an ivory wand and peremptorily ordering his food to be removed as soon as he has only tasted it. The Victorian public found this harsh treatment amusing and the effect is increased because Sancho and his surroundings are not caricatured, but could be a recognisable portrait. One reviewer for The Examiner wrote: 'The eyes of Sancho are despairingly fixed on this grim emblem of perpetual disappointment; and the heartsick discontent which his countenance exhibits is infinitely humorous.'

People
Although Charles Robert Leslie (1794-1859) had begun as a history and portrait painter, he soon turned to literary themes. The collector John Sheepshanks (1787-1863) owned 17 paintings by Leslie with subjects taken from well-known authors, such as Shakespeare, Chaucer and Molière.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
oil on panel
Brief Description
Oil painting depicting Sancho Panza (Cervantes, Don Quixote). Charles Robert Leslie 1839.
Dimensions
  • Height: 30.5cm
  • Width: 22.8cm
  • Depth: 5cm
  • Framed height: 49cm
  • Framed width: 41cm
Styles
Gallery Label
British Galleries: In this scene from the novel 'Don Quixote', the lazy, greedy servant, Sancho Panza, is tormented by a doctor removing his food when he has only tasted it. The somewhat harsh but amusing effect is increased because Sancho is not caricatured, but could be a recognisable portrait.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857
Object history
Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857. By Charles Robert Leslie RA (born in London, 1794, died there in 1859)



Exhibited at the Royal Academy 1839
Subject depicted
Literary ReferenceCervantes, Don Quixote
Summary
Object Type
Oil paintings such as this with subjects taken from popular literature steadily replaced commissions for history paintings in the early 19th century. The public and most collectors of modern works moved to a preference for lighter and sometimes more sentimental themes.

Subjects Depicted
In Cervantes' novel Don Quixote, the adventures of the Don's servant, the lazy, greedy and completely unidealistic Sancho Panza, was the source of many humorous and, to modern tastes, cruel adventures. Here the gourmand Sancho Panza is shown enduring what was to him a torment. A physician is waving an ivory wand and peremptorily ordering his food to be removed as soon as he has only tasted it. The Victorian public found this harsh treatment amusing and the effect is increased because Sancho and his surroundings are not caricatured, but could be a recognisable portrait. One reviewer for The Examiner wrote: 'The eyes of Sancho are despairingly fixed on this grim emblem of perpetual disappointment; and the heartsick discontent which his countenance exhibits is infinitely humorous.'

People
Although Charles Robert Leslie (1794-1859) had begun as a history and portrait painter, he soon turned to literary themes. The collector John Sheepshanks (1787-1863) owned 17 paintings by Leslie with subjects taken from well-known authors, such as Shakespeare, Chaucer and Molière.
Bibliographic Reference
Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, Ronald Parkinson, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1990, pp. 175-76
Collection
Accession Number
FA.132[O]

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record createdFebruary 27, 2001
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