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[Elegant Grisaille Watercolour Showing Columbus Landing in America with the Explorer Encouraging his Party to go Forward, and a Group of Native Americans and a Spanish Ship in the Background].
Early 19th century. Grisaille watercolour, pen and ink on laid paper, ca. 12x8 cm (4 ¾ x 3 ¼ in). Recently matted within hand drawn ink border, a very good watercolour. Fine watercolour showing Christopher Columbus landing in the New World. Apparently the watercolour shows his first landing which took place on October 12, 1492 in San Salvador Island (Guanahani), now in the Bahamas archipelago. The entry in Columbus journal from the 12 October 1492 describes the natives: "Many of the men I have seen have scars on their bodies, and when I made signs to them to find out how this happened, they indicated that people from other nearby islands come to San Salvador to capture them; they defend themselves the best they can. I believe that people from the mainland come here to take them as slaves. They ought to make good and skilled servants, for they repeat very quickly whatever we say to them. I think they can very easily be made Christians, for they seem to have no religion. If it pleases our Lord, I will take six of them to Your Highnesses when I depart, in order that they may learn our language." He remarked that their lack of modern weaponry and even metal-forged swords or pikes was a tactical vulnerability, writing, "I could conquer the whole of them with 50 men, and govern them as I pleased" (Wikipedia).