As background, we can recall here a novel by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha, describing the adventures of Don Quixote and his ladylove Dulcinea del Toboso.
When Don Quixote turns into a knight-errant, he decides, following all the conventions of the chivalry romance literature, to choose a lady with whom he could fall in love – for a knight without love is like a ‘body without a soul.’ A common girl from the neighboring village becomes his fair lady Duclinea del Toboso. He is singing her praises, performing his feats in her name and like the disconsolate lover from the chivalrous novels, raves in the mountains. With all this, Don Quixote is not sure, “whether Dulcinea exists or not, whether she is fictional or not fictional…”
And so after lengthy wanderings comes the long-awaited moment: we can imagine the illustrious knight finally meeting his ladylove! He is now asking lovely Dulcinea to dance.
In this artwork the heroes of Cervantes are symbolically represented as certain figures from the puppet theatre, such as Carrot and Onion. We can remember the story by the Italian writer Gianni Rodari Adventures of Cipollino (Le avventure di Cipollino, initially published in 1951-57 as Il romanzo di Cipollino).
The main character is a little onion boy Cipollino, who is fighting against the oppression of the poor by the rich – Lord Tomato, Prince Lemon and others. Other characters from the tale are anthropomorphic fruits and vegetables: Shoemaker Grapes, old Mr. Pumpkin, Radish girl, Cherry boy etc.