"After his first voyage, Columbus makes a triumphal return on horseback through the gates of the city where the court is sitting. After his hero's welcome, he was granted the titles of admiral and viceroy and was given a coat of arms. The figures in the border are King Ferdinand and Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the Spanish discoverer of the Pacific Ocean."
The return of Columbus to Barcelona is depicted here as a grand celebration, a hero's welcome--the little guy triumphs over amazing odds and returns a hero. Whether or not he was received such a welcome is a matter of speculation; what transpired after this reception is not. Columbus now had definite ideas about colonization of the lands he "discovered," and in 1493 Ferdinand and Isabella approved his second expedition. A fleet of 17 ships left Cadiz with some 1,200 people and tools, animals, and seed. "It remained to be seen how well he would perform in his new role as colonizer, administrator, and agent of nascent European imperialism." (Noble, 171)