Visions of Quixote by Octavio Ocampo
Visions of Quixote illustrates Octavio Ocampo’s powerful ability to tell the story of Don Quixote by using a single picture.
From afar, the viewer sees an old man with a faraway and dreamlike expression on his face. Wild yellow hair and strange beard serve to complete man’s strange demeanor. Coming closer, the viewer is transported to the Spanish countryside, where he notices that the windmills in the center of the picture look like they are about to come to life.
Two proud heroes occupy the center of the picture and are backed by windmills. Don Quixote on his faithful steed Rocinante and Sancho Panzo on Dappie. They are surrounded by the world that lives in Don Quixote’s mind.
In the middle of the right picture, Don Quixote is immortalized protesting that a deceased man still lives and getting ready to hijack his body to save him from an untimely funeral. If you focus on the area around this scene, you will see the face of a dog, or a symbol of Quixote’s madness.
The middle left of the picture shows Xarifa working in the fields. Again this scene appears to be the face of a dog, to show the madness of imagining her to be Dulcinea (pictured in the upper left corner). Above Xarifa in the fields, the village of La Mancha is pictured surrounded by mythical dragons and sea monsters.
Above the village, sits the Duke’s castle (upper left) with the Duke’s face pictured in the castle’s wall. Careful observation will reveal a skull outlining the left side of the castle, a hint of the Duke’s sinister plans for our heroes.
The upper right side of the painting shows Miguel de Cervantes’ ghostly face watching over his work. While the hills, rocks, and dales alter with the power of the Man of La Mancha’s madness.