(click to enlarge)
Shucks, I knew old George Washington was a great general, and probably an OK President. But was he more than that? So it seems. Last week we took a tour of the U.S. Capitol rotunda, and stared up at this fresco by Constantino Brumidi.
I'll let the official website of The Architect of the Capitol tell the tale: Brumidi depicted George Washington rising to the heavens in glory, flanked by female figures representing Liberty and Victory/Fame. A rainbow arches at his feet, and thirteen maidens symbolizing the original states flank the three central figures. (The word "apotheosis" in the title means literally the raising of a person to the rank of a god, or the glorification of a person as an ideal; George Washington was honored as a national icon in the nineteenth century.