Peter F. Rothermel, Columbus before the Queen, 1842
This painting of Columbus depicts the hero familiar to most
Americans. Columbus is handsome and stately as he pleads before his
Queen for the mission in which he will make the unplanned discovery of
the "New World." Notice how he stands with light flowing on him from
a high window, as if from God. He extends his hands as if bearing his future
discoveries as a gift to Spain. Queen Isabella holds her hands to
her heart, as if she is accepting his gift and will cherish and keep it
under her care. She is the only person really concentrating on him,
showing how no one else supported him in his revolutionary endeavor.
Standing in between them is a globe, a representaion of the mission, and
the spread of civilization and God to the world. This is a common
romantic depiction of Columbus when viewed as national patriot. However,
one must keep in mind that this is only one pictorial, as well as mental
image of Columbus.