Vasco Da Gama Research Paper

Abstract

The present paper describes the characterization and comparative study carried out on the 16th century murals of Casas Pintadas of the so-called Vasco da Gama House in the town of Évora, Southern Portugal. Even today, the two existing paintings in the porch vaulted cloister raise many questions about the pictorial techniques and materials that were used. The most adopted theory is that the upper register inspired in medieval bestiary was made with a secco technique, while the lower grotteschi frieze was achieved with a fresco technique. A multianalytical research was carried out in situ and in laboratory in order to attest this hypothesis and to characterize the paintings materials. Surface examination was made with normal and racking light complemented with in situ spectrophotometry in the visible, with stratigraphic and analytical study of microsamples by optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDS). The results show similarities in the structure and elemental composition of both paintings mortars and pigments. The mortars' inner layers (the intonaci) were made with siliceous sands mixed with a dolomitic lime-based plaster (CaMg(CO3)2). On top of it, one to three thin layers of lime wash were applied. In SEM-EDS elemental maps, all the pigments at the cross-sections are embedded in a calcium carbonate matrice, and several nails marks are visible in situ with racking light in both paintings indicating a fresco technique. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Vasco Da Gama Essay

705 WordsNov 6th, 20063 Pages

Vasco Da Gama

1460-1524

Portuguese Explorer

In the last years of the fifteenth century, an explorer set off from the Iberian Peninsula, full of grand illusions and hoping to reach India by going where no European had ever gone before. Though that statement would seem to describe the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) to the New World, it is equally true of a less famous expedition—from an American perspective, at least—that set sail five years later. This one was led by Vasco da Gama, who sailed under the Portuguese flag and rounded the southern tip of Africa to become the first European to reach the Indian subcontinent by sea.

Da Gama was born in Sines, Portugal, where his father was governor. As a member of the…show more content…

This put them in contact with coastal trading cities, which served as ports for Arab and Persian vessels plying the Indian Ocean route da Gama intended to cross. The Portuguese did battle with the Muslims in Mozambique and Mombasa (now part of Kenya), but found a better reception in the city of Malindi, whose sultan provided them with an Indian pilot to guide them across the ocean. Thanks in part to this help, da Gama landed in Calicut on May 20, 1498.

At first the Portuguese were sure they had found Prester John's land, because they mistook a temple to a Hindu goddess as a shrine to the Virgin Mary. Disappointment followed when the zamorin, the local ruler, examined the treasures Manuel had sent him as examples of Portugal's economic might. From the standpoint of India, wealthy in natural resources, these were cheap trinkets, and though the zamorin sent back samples of treasure and spices when da Gama set sail again in August 1498, this was probably more from courtesy than from a genuine belief that trade with Europe would prove profitable. The zamorin could not have known that the ragtag band of sailors were the advance party for waves of European colonization that would not end until the nation of India annexed the Portuguese colony of Goa in 1961.

Vasco da Gama. (New York Public Library Picture Collection. Reproduced with permission.)
As for da Gama, his crew ran into considerable hardships on the return voyage, which

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