Monday, August 30, 2010

George and the Angels

(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.


Deka Black said...

Well, from what i know seems awespome to me. I mean the fresco. What i wish to know, if possible, is the opinion of Mr. Washington himself.

Charles Gramlich said...

Some folks I know might say George was heavensent.

Richard Robinson said...

Welcome back. Hope you had a great trip, I know we did when we visited you there in the City of Roses.

As for George, I thought the portrait of him in JOHN ADAMS was excellent. I surely didn't know about this ceiling artwork.

Dave in Indianapolis said...

Hello, Evan. I found your site looking for western related reviews and seen that you posted a piece on the "apotheosis". Maybe my favorite author, William Henry, wrote a book on this subject titled, FREEDOM’S GATE: The Lost Symbols in the U.S. Capitol. Very interesting reading. For anyone interested here is a link to Williams site
and a link to an interview.