The Manila Galleon. 46 x 46.
After Vasco da Gama had rounded Africa and opened India for trade and
the Spanish under Columbus had begun exploration of the western
hemisphere, the Pope decided to divide the whole world with the
exploration to the east going to Portugal and the west going to Spain.
By 1522 when Ferdinand Magellan went westward to the Philippines, the
defects in this treaty were apparent. Nevertheless, as the Spanish
developed their colonies in the Philippines during the mid-16th
Century consonant with the treaty, they sent their treasure ships
eastward across the Pacific to Panama. They freighted their cargoes
across the isthmus and shipped them to Spain across the Gulf of Mexico
and the Atlantic. Until the pirate Francis Drake raided the Pacific in
1579 the entire ocean was a Spanish lake, and yearly the Manila
Galleon arrived in Panama laden with pearls, gold and silk brocades.
The practice continued over one hundred years, and this is a painting
of the Manila treasure galleon as she would have looked about the year
Have Questions or Comments ? Contact Us.