Columbus's Tomb

Columbus's Tomb
Columbus's Tomb
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This sculpture is in the Cathedral of Santa María de la Sede de Sevilla. Although the remains of the discoverer Christopher Columbus have not always been here. Quite the contrary, as befits one of the great travelers of all time, his tomb has changed location over the centuries.

Tomb of Christopher Columbus

Tomb of Christopher Columbus

First his bones rested in Valladolid, where he had died in 1506. Later he was transferred to the Monasterio de la Cartuja de Sevilla, without However, it was later taken first to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and then to Havana, Cuba. And finally in 1899 he returned to Europe, to the Cathedral of Seville, where the sculptorArturo Mélidamade this funerary monument

It is clear that the monument is more symbolic than anything else, since the funeral of Columbus, after so much travel, you have to imagine them in a poor state of conservation. However, this sculptural work was commissioned from Mélida, in which he poses a coffin supported by four characters, who come to be a representation of the four historical Spanish kingdoms. That is, Castilla, León, Aragón and Navarra.

Because of its dimensions, the coffin does not correspond to the height that Columbus could have had. And it is that in reality his remains are in an internal box, brought from Cuba after the loss of the lastSpanish colony in 1898.

That is to say, it was an important commission for the time and it fell to Arturo Mélida y Alinari (1849 – 1902), a character who was a painter, soldier, restorer, designer and architect. However, within all these activities, his greatest artistic achievement and what has happened to the posterity ofSpanish artis for this mausoleum that he made entirely in bronze. A work of very eclectic forms, and certainly somewhat outdated, compared to what was being done in other parts of Europe in those years.

But in a certain way it served to greatly enhance his figure, and this earned him the commission of another monumental work evoking the same character, which is none other than the Monument to Columbuslocated in the Madrid square that bears the name of the Discoverer.

And also in Madrid, the artist's hometown, his traces can be found in one of his most popular and well-known works, although in this case he only worked as a restorer in the paintings of the Bakery House in Madrid's Plaza Mayor.

And it seems that the destiny of Arturo Mélida as an artist seems to have been to remain anonymous. Sometimes under the weight of the protagonists of his works, as is the case of Columbus. Other times for participating in restoration work. And finally for being one of the pioneers in Spain in a type of graphic design that is sometimes not signed. We are talking about the posters. Mélida was one of the first poster artists in the country, and his productionin this field she is as eclectic as in the rest of the creative disciplines in which she has developed.

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