Paradoxplace Portraits

Vasco da Gama

1460 - 1524 (64)





c1524 painted by Gregorio Lopez

Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon

1646 posthumous image by an unknown artist


Portuguese navigator who in 1497, five years after Columbus' first voyage, sailed to India via the Cape of Good Hope.  On the way he named his southern African landfall "Natal" (which is the province surrounding Durban) after making it ashore there on Christmas Day 1497. 


The Cape of Good Hope, and thus the existence of a sea route to India, had been discovered by the Portuguese navigator Bartolomé Dias in 1488 in the wake of several earlier Portuguese expeditions which pushed gradually further down the west coast of Africa mapping the coastline and currents, and it is odd that almost another decade elapsed before an expedition was mounted to exploit this knowledge.




Links to Paradoxplace Book pages


Books by and about Travellers in the Middle Ages          Books about Exploration and Mapmaking

More Paradoxplace portraits


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