A Young Christopher Columbus as Graffiti Artist

Bostonian Augustus Porter bought this marble statue, titled Young Columbus (1871), directly from the artist, Giulio Monteverde (1837-1917), in Rome.

It portrays a young Columbus sitting on a piling from a pier which reveals graffiti of a seafaring vessel on its side.

Spotting the boat we assume that the young explorer is dreaming about future voyages. Coincidentally, the boat reminds me of an image of a boat that I spotted on a shutter in San Juan’s Spanish Colonial Fort San Cristobal a few years back.

The sculpture was offered to the (then) newly founded Boston Museum of Fine Art in 1871. It became the first European sculpture–and the first work of contemporary art–to enter the Museum’s collection.

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