Late in life, Honoré Daumier, while continuing to support himself with his lithographs, produced works in oils on highly individual themes. Don Quixote was the human figure he painted most often; this work is regarded as his earliest on that subject. When Daumier began to concentrate on this series of works, his eyesight was failing and he was falling into financial distress. He passionately painted Don Quixote again and again, crossing desert and mountains with Sancho Panza or attacking a flock of sheep, mistaking them for the enemy. Towards the end of the series, it became impossible to identify the paintings with a particular scene from the novel: Daumier simply shows us, in simplified, loose brushwork, two men on horseback, isolated from society. It is likely that Daumier, who never ceased to denounce the corruption of authority and the fraudulence of society, identified with Don Quixote, another solitary idealist.