John Vanderlyn. “The Landing of Columbus. From the original painting in the rotunda of the Capitol. Washington D.C.”
New York: John McRae, ca 1850. Engraving by John C. McRae. 20 x 30. Several repaired tears in margin with a vertical crease in image left hand side. Some staining in bottom margin. Fine condition.
The Capitol dome was designed by Charles Bulfinch and built between 1818 and 1824. It was designed to have eight niches reserved for large patriotic paintings. One of these was an image of the landing of Columbus, commissioned from John Vanderlyn in 1839. Completed in 1847, this impressive scene hangs proudly in the Capitol, and its fame resulted in the publication of this engraving based on the painting. Christopher Columbus is shown landing on San Salvador on October 12, 1492. He and the captains of the Niña and Pinta claim the lands for his Spanish patrons. The quality of the print, an excellent engraving by John McRae, speaks of the high regard in which Vanderlyn’s work was held.