Piero Bernardini and Don Quixote of La Mancha

We have previously written about Florentine painter and illustrator Piero Bernardini (1891-1974) in presenting the many editions of “Pinocchio” he worked on – no less than eight!

This time, we focus on another literary figure: Don Quixote, created in 1605 by Spanish author Miguel De Cervantes. Piero Bernardini “met” the character in 1935, when he illustrated “Don Quixote of La Mancha” for Utet’s (Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese) famous kids’ series, “La Scala d’Oro” (edited by Edoardo Mottini).

Children literature expert Antonio Faeti has written, “Piero Bernardini was head of a remarkable group of illustrators who tried – often in vain – to imitate his fresh graphic creativity, which could count on a most confident hand, allowing him generous versatility.”

“He could shift with great ease from one field to the next, always considering the prose he had to illustrate, thanks to his unique ability to synthesize using pure lines, volumes and clear spots” (translated from A. Faeti, “Guardare le figure. Gli illustratori italiani dei libri per l’infanzia”, Donzelli, Rome 2011).

"He will live, according to law, in search of challenging and glorious adventures..."

"... and he calls her Dulcinèa, a name that tastes of honey and sounds round and melodious"

"He woke up, and shouted, and scrambled, slicing away right and left with an imaginary sword..."

"Pity is one thing, mister magician, and lashings are quite another..."

"... and so he had to accept seeing Sancio's body go down and up over the courtyard's wall..."

"... and they left him for a good five minutes with a thick layer of soap on his wiry face and knotty neck..."

"Scrambling into the dark room, the frightened beasts had created mayhem..."

"You've lost, knight. Surrender!"

"So here they are, back on the road looking for new adventures"


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