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

Monday, April 11, 2022

Miguel Grau

Admiral Miguel Grau

This bust of Admiral Miguel Grau (Miguel María Grau Seminario) by Camulfo Vivanco stands in front of the Peruvian embassy at 1700 Massachusetts Avenue in Northwest Washington, DC.

The inscription reads:

Gran Almirante de Peru
Miguel Grau
1834-1879
La República del Perú
al Caballero de los Mares

Inaugurado por el Presidente del Consejo de Ministros Salomón Lerner Ghitis
y el Embajador del Perú en los Estados Unidos de América
Harold Forsyth Mejía
siendo Presidente Constitucional de la República
Ollanta Humala Tasso
Washington DC, 24 de octubre de 2011

Grand Admiral of Peru
Miguel Grau
1834-1879
The Republic of Perú
to the "Gentleman of the Seas"

Inaugurated by the President of the Council of Ministers
Salomón Lerner Ghitis
and the Peruvian Ambassador to the United States of America
Harold Forsyth Mejía
during the Presidency of
Ollanta Humala Tasso
Washington DC, October 24, 2011

(Translation courtesy of J. Makali Bruton at HMdb.)

“Gran Almirante del Perú” is a posthumous title given to Admiral Grau by the Peruvian Congress in 1967.

Photo by J. Makali Bruton (modified by ACB)

After explaining Admiral Grau's name —“In this Spanish name, the first or paternal surname is Grau and the second or maternal family name is Seminario.” — Wikipedia says this about him:
Miguel María Grau Seminario (27 July 1834 – 8 October 1879) is the most renowned Peruvian naval officer and hero of the Naval Battle of Angamos during the War of the Pacific (1879–1884). He was known as el Caballero de los Mares (Spanish for “Gentleman of the Seas”) for his kind and chivalrous treatment of defeated enemies and is esteemed by both Peruvians and Chileans. He is an iconic figure for the Peruvian Navy, and one of the most famous merchant marine and naval military leaders of the Americas.

Admiral Grau was blown to bits by an exploding shell on October 8, 1879 at the Battle of Angamos.  

One popular image of  Admiral Grau is on the 5,000 intis note. (See Numista)

Miguel Grau
 Cinco Mil Intis

Embajada del Perú
1700 Massachusetts Avenue NW

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