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been one of Diego Columbus, the heir and successor of the discoverer, and who, like him, was denominated "the Admiral."
Various portraits of Columbus have appeared from time to time in Italy, not one resembling the others, and all differing essentially from the description given by Fernando of his father. Theodore de Bry, in his "America," published in the sixteenth century, gave an engraving of one in his possession, which he pretended had been stolen from a saloon of the Council of the Indias, and sold in the Netherlands, where it fell into his hands. The same has been copied, in an eulogium of Columbus by the Marquis of Durazzo, printed by Bodoni, and in a life of the discoverer published in Milan by the Chevalier Bossi. This pretended portrait also differs entirely from the graphic description given by Fernando Columbus of his father. According to this, his visage was long, and neither full nor meagre; the cheek-bones rather high, his nose aquiline, his eyes light-gray, his complexion fair and high-colored (acceso di vivo colore). In his youth, his hair was blonde; but by the time he was thirty years of age it was quite white. This minute description I consider the touchstone by which all the pretended portraits of him should be tried. It agrees with accounts given of him by Las Casas and other contemporaries.
Peschiera, a sculptor, employed in Genoa to make a bust of him for a monument erected to his memory in that city in 1821, discarded all existing portraits as either spurious or doubtful, and guided himself by the descriptions I have cited.
While I was in Madrid, in 1826, Don Martin Fernandez de Navarrete, President of the Royal Academy of History, published a lithographed copy of an engraved portrait of Columbus, which he found in an old Italian work containing likenesses of distinguished persons. He and the Duke of Veraguas (the descendant of Columbus) placed confidence in it, because other portraits in the same work were known to be correct. I doubted its authenticity. It did not agree sufficiently with the description before mentioned; and the hair especially, in the notice which accompanied it in the Italian work, was said to be black. Still, I published a copy of the engraving, some years since, in an abridged edition of my Life of the discoverer.
While I was in Paris, in 1845, Mons. Jomard, the learned principal of the Royal (now National) Library, had the kindness to send me a lithographic copy of a portrait in oil, recently discovered. The original bore, in one corner of the canvas, the inscription, CHRISTOFORUS COLUMBUS. The countenance was venerable and dignified, and agreed, more than any I had seen, with the description given by Fernando Columbus. Around the neck, however, was the Flemish ruff, which I pointed out as an anachronism. M. Jomard endeavored to account for it by supposing the portrait to have been made up toward the year 1580 by some scholar of Titian, from some design or sketch taken during the lifetime of Columbus, and that the artist may have decked it out in the costume in vogue at the time he painted it. This is very possible. Such a custom of vamping up new portraits from old ones seems to have been adopted in the time of Charles V., when there were painters of merit about the court.
In 1519, Juan de Borgoña, a Spanish artist, executed a whole series of portraits of the primates of Spain for the chapter room of the Cathedral of Toledo; some of them from the life, some from rude originals, and some purely imaginary. Some degree of license of the kind may have been indulged in producing this alleged portrait of Columbus. As it is evidently a work of merit, and bears the stamp of his character, I have published an engraving of it in one of the editions of his biography.
Painting had not attained much eminence in Spain during the lifetime of Columbus, though it was improving under the auspices of Ferdinand and Isabella. There were, as yet, no Italian painters in the Peninsula ; and the only Spanish painter of note was Antonio Rincon, who is said to have been the first who "left the stiff Gothic style, and attempted to give to his figure something of the graces and proportions of nature." He executed portraits of Ferdinand and Isabella, who made him their painter-in-ordinary.
The originals have disappeared in the war of the French intrusion; but copies of two of his full-length portraits of the sovereigns exist in one of the lower corridors of the Royal Gallery of Madrid. It is very probable that he painted a portrait of Columbus at the time when he
was at the court, the object of universal attention on account of his discoveries, but if so, it likewise has disappeared, or may exist anonymously in some corner of Spain, or in the collection of some picturehunter.
So much for the portraits of Columbus. Another subject of inquiry with Mr. Bloomfield was the name of the discoverer. He asks why he should not call him by the name he signed to all his letters now in the Royal Exchange of Seville, Christoval Colon; and he wishes to know "how did or could Colon be changed to Columbus ?”
In regard to the name there is some petty mystery. That of the family in Genoa was Colombo, and his original Italian designation was Cristoforo Colombo. When he first came into Spain from Portugal, he seems to have retained his Italian family name, with a slight variation; for, in the records of Francisco Gonzales, of Seville, the royal treasurer, there are still extant three several entries of money paid, in 1487 and 1488, by order of the Catholic sovereigns, to him, by the name of Cristóbal Colomo.
So also, in a royal cedula of May 12th, 1480, signed by the sovereigns, the public functionaries throughout the kingdom are ordered to furnish accommodations and facilities to Cristóval Colomo.
And the Duke of Medina Celi, his first patron in Spain, in a letter to the Grand Cardinal, dated 19th March, 1493, says: "I do not know whether your lordship knows that I had for much time in my house Cristóbal Colomo, who came from Portugal," etc.
In the capitulations entered into between him and the sovereigns, 17th April, 1492, by which he was constituted admiral, viceroy, and governor of any lands he might discover, we find him for the first time recorded as Don Cristóbal Colon. In adopting this appellation, he may have recurred to what his son Fernando intimates was the original patrician name of the family in old times, at Rome-Colonus-and may have abbreviated it to Colón, to adapt it to the Spanish tongue.
Columbus was a later version of his family name, adopted occasionally by himself and his brother Bartholomew, according to the pedantic usage of the day. His son Fernando says (chap. xi.), that his father, before he
was declared admiral, used to sign himself "Columbus de Terrarubra ;" that is to say, Columbus of Terrarossa, a village or hamlet near Genoa. So also his brother Bartholomew, on a map of the world, which he presented to Henry VII., dated London, 13th February, 1488, inscribed on it some Latin verses, of which the following gave the name and country of the author :
"Janua cui patria est; nomen cui Bartolomæus
By this Latin version of his family name, he has always been known in English literature. If we change it, we ought to go back to the original Italian, Cristoforo Colombo. Long usage, however, like long occupancy, constitutes a kind of right, that cannot be disturbed without great inconvenience.
Yours, my dear sir, very truly,
LETTER TO MRS. STORROW.-coup d'ETAT OF LOUIS NAPOLEON.-KOSSUTH.— LETTER TO GOUVERNEUR KEMBLE. THE COOPER COMMEMORATION.-BRYANT'S ALLUSION TO THE COOLNESS BETWEEN COOPER AND IRVING.—WHAT THE LATTER SAID ABOUT IT.-A PROSPECTUS FOR A COURSE OF LECTURES SENT TO HIM.-LETTER THEREUPON.-LETTERS FROM SARATOGA.-ANECDOTES OF CHARLES AUGUSTUS DAVIS.-THE IRVING LITERARY UNION.A BREAKFAST WITH SONTAG.-LETTER TO MISS HAMILTON.-LETTER TO GEORGE P. PUTNAM.
HE following letter is addressed to Mrs. Storrow, at Paris, just after the world had been astounded by the coup d'état of Louis Napoleon. New York, in addition, had been filled with excitement by the arrival of the graceful and eloquent Hungarian patriot, Kossuth.
MY DEAR SARAH :
SUNNYSIDE, January 13, 1852.
We have all been quite electrified by the coup d'état of our friend Louis Napoleon. It is one of the most complete things of the kind I have ever heard or read of, and quite Napoleonic. His uncle could not have done the thing better in his most vigorous day. Who would have thought, "when his gracious Majesty took his disjeune with us at Tillietudlem," he had so much in him? You are in a fair way of becoming experienced in warfare, and seasoned to alarms, by your residence in a capital where every political change is a military convulsion. At present you are likely VOL. III.-13 193