Happy Columbus Day! Whether you’re enjoying a sales event or a day off, the time period of Columbus is certainly a defining, historical series of events that many people don’t know a lot about. We’ve rounded up some fun facts for you (or your next go at being on Jeopardy) about the holiday and the furniture of the time.
Did you know?
Christopher Columbus was not the famed explorer’s real name; it was closer to Cristoforo Colombo.
Columbus’ trip coordinated with what is said to be the beginning of the Spanish Renaissance that lasted until the early 18th century.
Many paintings of Columbus were not actually of him; most were painted after his passing in 1506.
Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas (not the East Indies, oops!) on October 12, 1492.
Most people at the time of Columbus knew that the Earth was not flat, but weren’t aware of the other continents “in the way” of the East Indies.
Spain was not Columbus’ first choice for sponsorship; England, France, and Portugal all said no.
After his primary voyage to the New World, Columbus made 3 trips back to his colonies there.
Columbus Day is not celebrated in 22 states because of its controversial history.
Columbus Day was proclaimed a national US holiday by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937.
The Furniture of the Spanish Renaissance:
Spain was in its political prime, controlling southern Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, and now, New World colonies as well.
Renaissance furniture design was inspired by Greek and Roman antiquities, especially in Italy.
The cassone chest became one of the most recognizable furniture pieces of this time period with its intricate carvings or gilded decorations.
Much of what is depicted on Renaissance furniture comes from mythology or history, separating it from the Gothic styles that pulled from the lives of saints.
Cabinet and furniture makers of the time began to use more lustrous woods like walnut.
High back chairs were all the rage throughout European countries because of their throne-like appearance.
Columbus Day is celebrated in many ways around the country including food festivals, retail sales, or the replacement of Indigenous People’s Day. Regardless of what you’re celebrating on this brisk October day, have a safe holiday!
Let us know in the comments below how you plan on spending the day.