"It was from Palos that the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria set sail on August 3, 1492. This scene depicts Columbus placing his son Diego in the monks' custody before his embarkation. The figures in the border are Columbus' friend Amerigo Vespucci and Pedro Gonzales de Mendoza, the Archbishop of Toledo and Grand Cardinal of Spain, who had great influence at Court."
The scene is on the whole, true to historical accounts (although Columbus had placed his sons with the monks many times in the past, while he spent years in application to the monarchs for support for his voyage). The piety of Columbus and his association with the monks of La Rabida is often noted in biographies of the man, yet not quite as important as ambition or persistence in popular mythology.