In this illustration from the early 20th century, the Portuguese mariner and explorer Vasco da Gama (ca. 1469–1524) delivers a letter from King Emanuel I. of Portugal (1469–1521) to the Saamoothirippād, the ruler of Calicut in South-West India. In a manner similar to the portrayal of, the explorer, striking a heroic pose in the centre of the picture, reflects the Western understanding of history and its self-conception as standing at the vanguard of world civilization.
"Vasco da Gama delivers the letter of King Manuel of Portugal to the Samorim of Calicut", photomechanical print, USA, ca. 1905, unknown artist, John D. Morris & Company (Philadelphia); source: Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/, DIGITAL ID: (b&w film copy neg.) cph 3c05882, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c05882.