‘This Is a Rooster’

Don Quijote’s reference to Orbaneja the Painter stuck with me fondly over the years. It’s as savory now on second reading as it was on first.

… Orbaneja el pintor de Úbeda, al cual preguntándole qué pintaba, respondió: <<Lo que saliere>>. Tal vez [Alguna vez] pintaba un gallo, de tal suerte y tan mal parecido, que era menester que con letras góticas escribiese junto a él: <<Éste es gallo>>.
(“Don Quijote,” ed. Riquer, II-3, p. 602)

My translation:

… Orbaneja, the painter from Ubeda who, upon being asked what he painted, said, “Whatever comes out.” He was once painting a rooster, in such fashion with so poor a resemblance, that he was obliged to write in gothic letters next to it, “This is a rooster.”

(c) 2021 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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