During the XIXth century, the figure of Christopher Columbus, appealing as it did to the romantic tastes of the period, attracted the interest of artists and intellectuals. Two books played a key part in familiarizing the public with the life of the explorer from Genoa –one written by Washington Irving in 1829, and the other penned by William Prescott in 1838. While in Europe on a scholarship from the San Carlos Academy, Juan Cordero undoubtedly came across the books by Irving and Prescott, perhaps identifying himself with the legendary adventurer who had dared challenge the unknown. This oil painting, executed during the artist´s time in Rome, attested to the technical progress achieved by the latter and showed, once more, that the scholarship awarded to him was bearing fruit. The work depicts a palatial interior filled with a multitude of people who are witnessing the scene that is unfolding. Noteworthy features of the composition are the successful rendering of the surprised King Ferdinand, who has even leapt to his feet, the satisfied look on the face of the enthroned Queen Isabel, Columbus' gesture as he points to the American Indians, and the latter's show of submission to the Catholic Monarchs. Cordero was able to find many coincidences between his own life and that of the explorer, one of which is expressed in the inscription on the back of the work, which reads "To the San Carlos Academy, in token of my gratitude". He executed this work and sent it to México to express his thanks, just as Columbus presented the natives of the "New World" before his Spanish sponsors in order to express his gratitude for their support of his endeavors. This work was executed in Rome and sent to México in 1850, appearing in the IIIrd Exhibition of the San Carlos Academy in December of the same year. It should be mentioned that the piece had already been shown, and received very favorable reviews, at exhibitions in Rome and Florence, so that its appearance in México was much awaited. It was one of the body of works that the Mexican Government sent to the Philadelphia International Exhibition in 1876, and has formed part of the MUNAL's collection since the latter museum was founded in 1982.