- Issue date: 22/04/2005
- Printing Process: Calcografía
- Paper: Estucado engomado mate fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 28,8 x 40,9 mm. (verticales)
- Size of block sheet: 78 x 105 mm. (vertical)
- Postal value of the stamps: 0,28; 0,53; 0,78 y 2,21 €
- Print run: 1.000.000 de hojas de bloque
- Dented: 13 3/4
On the anniversary of the 400 years of the publication of “ El ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes, a souvenir sheet is issued made up of four stamps that depict scenes from this masterpiece of universal literature.
In 1605 the first edition of El Quijote was printed in Juan de la Cuesta’s printer. As was the custom of the time, all works were devoted to a sponsor, in this case the Duque of Béjar, who in return for having his name printed, financially supported writers and artists. The novel is divided into two parts- the second was published 10 years later was dedicated to the Count of Lemos- and tells of the adventures and misfortunes of a nobleman driven crazy from reading chivalresque novels who decides to become a knight errant and travel the world seeking adventures, righting wrongs and ensuring the principles of justice and chivalry are complied with. As all proper knight errants, he is in need of a lady to whom commend himself to in difficult moments and sets his eye on a peasant girl whom he calls Dulcinea del Toboso, for him the most beautiful maiden in the world. The figure of the loyal squire couldn’t go missing, Sancho Panza is a farm worker whom Don Quijote convinces to accompany him in his adventures with the promise of handing him over the loots of the battles and the government of an island. The adventures follow one another throughout the novel with sense of humour and tenderness, with enriching dialogues in which the idealism of Don Quijote contrasts with the realism of Sancho Panza. La Mancha, Sierra Morena, Aragon and Cataluña are the places that knight and squire travel to before returning to their home town, where in his deathbed Don Quijote recovers his mind and renounces his crazy adventures and dreams of heroism. El Quijote is a parody of chivalresque novels, a literary gender par excellence in the XVI century and marks the beginning of modern novel. Its author, Miguel de Cervantes (Alcalá de Henares 1547-Madrid 1616) was a soldier and took part in the Battle of Lepanto against the Turks where he lost his left hand. Apart from novels, he also wrote comedy, poetry and theatre. He died the same day as Shakespeare, the 23rd of April , “Book Day” and was buried in the convent of the Trinitarians according to the rule of the Orden Tercera, “with his face uncovered and the coarse woollen cloth of the Franciscan brothers”. De cada uno de los cuatro sellos que componen esta serie se estampó una Prueba de lujo con formato de hoja bloque.