Skip to main content menu

Archives and Special Collections News

Primary Sourcery Blog


portrait of Amerigo Vespucci

Portrait of an Explorer

Skeptical that Christopher Columbus had discovered a route to India, Amerigo Vespucci consulted the journals of Marco Polo, says Gregory Hedberg, donor of a portrait of the explorer to the James Ford Bell Library. The costumes described by Polo and Columbus didn’t match up, so Vespucci sailed from Europe to learn more. It was he, Hedberg says, who determined that the land now known as South America was new to Europeans.

© 2020 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy Statement