Néstor Ponce de León

The Columbus Gallery
The 'Discoverer of the New World' as represented in Portraits, Monuments, Statues, Medals and Paintings
Historical Description.

New York: N. Ponce de Leon, 1893.

Table of contents

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THE MAURA MEDAL.—The Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando established at Madrid, opened a competition for a medal to commemorate the Discovery of America, on its fourth Centennial. The first prize was awarded to the distinguished artist, Mr. Bartolomeo Maura. He selected for the design of his medal two of the most momentous events in the career of Columbus,-the discovery of land and the reception of the Admiral by the Kings on his return.
This happy conception was splendidly elaborated by the artist as may be seen by the annexed cuts, (Nos. 73 and 74.)



A curious story is connected with this' medal: in the first design submitted, a friar was kneeling in front of Columbus as if in the act of thanking God for the success of the expedition. Many persons having with good reason objected to the presence of a friar-when as is well established to-day—no ecclesiastic accompanied the first expedition, Mr. Maura made a change in this part of the medal and substituted for the figure of the friar, one of the discontented crew. He thus showed a respect for historical truth, which has, unhappily, not been followed [page 130] in many countries and especially in the United States where every Columbian fairy tale has been deemed worthy of being chronicled, in art.
The medal is three inches in diameter and has been cast in gold, silver and bronze; it is a beautiful work of art.



THE LOPEZ MEDAL.—The second prize was a warded to another celebrated engraver of medals, Mr. Francisco Asis Lopez, the designer of the famous medal commemorating the Centennial of Calderon. I also give a reproduction of of it, as it has on the obverse a magnificent bust of Columbus, taken from the descriptionsand portraits which are considered to be the most faithful representations of the Admiral. On the reverse, is Hope, seated in a bark guided by Faith, in her search for the New World, which is seen in the background, and above the bark a flying figure of Victory points to the newly discovered land. The medal is very beautiful, though as it is not historical but allegorical, the Commission with excellent judgment awarded the prize to the Maura medal.

THE ITALIAN MEDAL.—The Italian Government has awarded the prize for a medal commemorating the Fourth Centennial of America, to an artist, who has modestly desired to conceal his name, and the medal has been engraved by the celebrated artist, Capuccio, of Genoa.
One side of the medal represents the bust of Columbus, [page 131] almost in profile. The head is beautiful and agrees with all the descriptions of the Admiral. It seems to have been taken from the Capriolo engraving, and the Yañez and Rincon portraits. On the right of the bust is tho New World symbolized by au Indian, and on the left, the Old World represented by a matron, both clasping hands under a sphere typifying the World. Beneath the bust is a condor spreading his wings in the act of flight.
The reverse represents the American Indians looking with amazement at the extraordinary development of their country in four centuries. America appears in the air surrounded by genii, with the attributes of Commerce, Science and Plenty. The sun rises in the background, illuminating the apotheosis of America; around the medal are the coats of arms of all the American Republics. Above the allegory is MDCCCXCII, and at the exergue under the feet of the Indians are the figures, MCCCCXCII. The medal is very large and exceedingly beautiful. I reproduce the obverse for the purpose of showing a new effigy of Columbus. Continue

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