"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Monday, June 20, 2016

Christopher Columbus

This 1912 statue of Christopher Columbus stands in front of Union Station in Washington, DC.
"The centerpiece of the plaza is the marble Columbus Fountain. At its center is a 45' shaft surmounted by four eagles supporting a globe displaying the Western Hemisphere. Projecting from the shaft is the prow of a ship, with a winged figure symbolizing Discovery, bearing a 15' statue of Christopher Columbus. Male figures on either side of the shaft represent the Old and New Worlds. A low-relief medallion about three feet in diameter on the rear of the shaft depicts Ferdinand and Isabella. Flanking the semicircular fountain are two couchant lions." -- National Register Form

"Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), the Italian-born explorer, has been traditionally credited with being the first European to have discovered America. In spite of his fame, one finds in Columbus a character study of frustration. He had great difficulty financing his expeditions, landed on the wrong continent, and died when he was not completely 'in favor.' Even in death he cannot have found real peace since his body has been interred and reinterred several times in the Caribbean and Spain;he now rests in Seville." -- Goode, Outdoor Sculpture of Washington D.C., 1974.

"A semicircular, double-basin fountain with a forty-five foot shaft in the center. Standing in front of the shaft, a figure of Columbus is crowned with a globe surmounted by four eagles connected by garlands. At the base, on the right and left, are two figures, one a Native-American, typifying the New World and the other an elderly, typifying the Old World. At the foot of the statue is the prow of the ship Santa Maria. The prow extends into the upper basin of the fountain with a winged figurehead representing Discovery. Mounted on either side of the fountain are two marble lions." -- SIRI

Isabella & Ferdinand
The Memory of 
Christopher Columbus
Whose High Faith
Indomitable Courage
Gave to Mankind
a New World

"The Knights of Columbus began lobbying for memorial to Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) in 1906, and on March 4, 1907, Congress allocated $100,000. The District of Columbia Commissioners also donated some funds. Construction began Oct. 31, 1911. Congress appropriated money for the unveiling on Dec. 23, 1911. The memorial was assembled March-June 1912." -- SIRIS
  "A Native-American, Typifying the New World"
"An Elder, Typifying the Old World"
A Lion Couchant

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