Monumental needle work panel (2900 x 1700 mm) Spanish, approx. 1892. Within a Renaissance-style border including portrait medallions, the Castilian lion and the Aragonian tower, the embroidery depicts three scenes: "Cristobal Colon" shows Columbus with the Catholic sovereigns who names him Admiral of the Fleet and Viceroy and Governor of any lands he should discover; the second panel illustrated the arms of Ferdinand II, King of Spain, and his wife Isabella I; the third panel represents the fall of Grenada, after Francisco Pradilla y Ortiz's "La rendición de Granada" (1882).
THE CELEBRATION OF THE 400TH ANNIVERSARY OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS' DISCOVERY, MADE FOR THE 1893 COLUMBIAN EXHIBITION IN CHICAGO
The Columbian Exposition, Chicago's 1893 World's Fair, was named in honor of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492. During one ceremony at the fair, replicas of the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa María arrived in Chicago; the Spanish government gifted the replica of the Santa María to the United States, and after the fair ended, it was to be sent to Washington D. C. where it would be on permanent display. Contemporary guides to the fair make note of the lavish displays by the Spanish. "The showing of exquisite furniture, ancient ceramics, artistic metal works, repousse and chiseled iron, as well as brocades, laces, carpets, velvets and textile industry [in the Spanish Pavilion in the Manufactures Building] was a very fine and attractive one" (Campbell's Illustrated History of the World's Columbian Exposition, 1894, Volume II, p.342). "Fully appreciating the honor which America was doing to her courageous son, Columbus, Spain manifested her appreciation by making a far more extensive exhibit of her products than was ever before attempted" (ibid., p.339). Spanish exhibits also included numerous relics relating to the life and work of Columbus, including letters between Columbus and Ferdinand and Isabella, and Columbus's will.