The Admiral is seen standing against a plain wall in a study . In one hand he holds a conically projected map of Brazil while the other touches an hour-glass and rests on a volume of Aristotle. He wears ceremonial furs leaving his throat bare. Bare-headed, his face is smooth, with his long gray hair parted in the middle. His face is thin, his nose long, and his eyes are lightly colored. His chin contains a slight dimple. He appears to be between the ages of 38 and 45. His fingernails are wellmanicured and he wears a plain, silver ring on the little finger of his right hand. His expression denotes a man who is intellectual, sensitive, perhaps a bit haughty, yet shows great determination.
On the parapet of the window is the artist's signature and date: LAUREN. LOTUS f./1512. The signature does not quite match others made by Lotto so (as with the Piombo) it was probably added by an unknown hand.
Excerpt from Paul Martin Lester, Looks Are Deceiving: the Portraits of Christopher Columbus, Originally published in Visual Anthropology, Vol. 5, pp. 211-227 C1993 Harwood Academic Publishers GmbH; click here for the WWW-version.