Christopher Columbus at the Royal Court of Spain
Original Author: Václav Brožík
Created: 1884
Medium: Painting

Christopher Columbus at the Royal Court of Spain

In this 1884 painting by the Czech artist Václav Brožík, Christopher Columbus gestures before Queen Isabella I of Castile in an attempt to persuade her to fund his voyages of exploration. The queen and her husband, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, met with Columbus multiple times and empaneled multiple commissions, all of which advised the rejection of his plan to sail west to Asia. Only after a final rejection did the queen change her mind, sending a messenger to overtake the departed Columbus.

On the table, the crown jewels represent a long tradition that suggests Isabella used them to cover Columbus's expenses. In fact, she used funds from her treasury.

On January 2, 1893, the United States issued a five-cent postage stamp featuring this image, engraved by Alfred Major and entitled Columbus Soliciting Aid of Isabella.

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