Columbus before the Queen
Emanuel Leutze reimagined Spanish colonial history in this large-scale painting depicting Christopher Columbus after his third voyage to the New World. Portrayed as a hero, the explorer commands the center of the composition as he boldly addresses the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella, seen at the left.
Although Leutze’s painting celebrates Spain’s imperial history, Columbus subjects were popular with midcentury American audiences, who saw themselves as the inheritors of this legacy. For them, European conquest of the New World was the historical precursor for the United States’ own territorial expansion into the American West.
- Artist: Emanuel Leutze, American, 1816-1868
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dates: 1843
- Dimensions: 38 9/16 x 50 15/16 in. (97.9 x 129.4 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: Signed lower right: "E. Leutze-1843"
- Collections:American Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
- Accession Number: 77.220
- Credit Line: Dick S. Ramsay Fund and Healy Purchase Fund B
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: Emanuel Leutze (American, 1816-1868). Columbus before the Queen, 1843. Oil on canvas, 38 9/16 x 50 15/16 in. (97.9 x 129.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Dick S. Ramsay Fund and Healy Purchase Fund B, 77.220
- Record Completeness: Best (89%)