Audience at the Court of Ferdinand and Isabella

Panel

"This panel depicts Queen Isabella listening attentively to Columbus' explanation of his map, with King Ferdinand at her side. On April 17, 1492, the agreement to finance the voyage was signed. Beside this panel are figures of Alonzo d'Ojeda, a Spanish adventurer who accompanied Columbus to the New World, and Queen Isabella."

The Capitulations of Santa Fe, the agreement to sail to the West to find the East, was signed on April 17, 1492, after the intercession of Luis de Santangel, court treasurer, with Queen Isabella. The text of the agreement puts into question the idea that Columbus was sailing for solely noble aims (although they may have been part of the equation); Columbus had finally struck a satisfactory business deal.

The things prayed for, and which Your Highness give and grant to Don Cristobal Colon as some recompense for what he is to discover in the Oceans, and for the voyages which now, with the help of God, he has engaged to make therein in the service of your Highnesses, are the following:

Firstly, that Your Highnesses, as actual Lords of the said Oceans, appoint from this date the said Don Cristobal Colon to be your Admiral in all those islands and mainlands which by his activity and industry shall be discovered or acquired in the said oceans, during his lifetime, and likewise, after his death, his heirs and successors one after another in perpetuity, with all the preeminences and prerogatives appertaining to the said office...

Likewise, that Your Highnesses appoint the said Don Cristobal Colon to be your Viceroy and Governor General in all the said island and mainlands...

Item, that of all and every kind of merchandise, whether pearls, precious stones, gold, silver, spices, and other objects and merchandise whatsoever, of whatever kind, name and sort, which may be bought, bartered, discovered, acquired and obtained within the limits of the said Admiralty, Your Highnesses grant from now henceforth to the said Don Cristobal, and will that he may have and take for himself, the tenth part of the whole...


The Doors