Piloty depicts Columbus at the very moment of discovery – a brief fragment of time before this he was all but defeated, his calculations checked and rechecked but his prize still tantalisingly out of reach, and his reputation all but shattered. But at this very instant the cry of discovery is heard: the voyage’s goal is reached, and the continent of America is claimed. As historian Scott Powell says,
“The themes of the life of Christopher Columbus are timeless. Among them are independence, vision, courage, dedication, perseverance. All are captured in the excellent painting by German master historical painter Carl von Piloty in his painting simply entitled ‘Christopher Columbus’.”
But obviously qualities like independence, vision, courage, dedication and perseverance can’t just be picked off the canvas like pins from a pin cushion. Read Scott Powell’s post to see how – and how well – Piloty has integrated these into his canvas.