Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Completed in 1866, the rotunda in the Capitol building is kind of an awe-inspiring sight. It is massive...96 feet in diameter and rises to a little over 180 feet to the canopy. It is tempting to want to lay down on the floor, right in the middle, and stare up at this magnificent sight, but you'd probably be trampled to death by the throngs of tourists coming through.
At the very top is a fresco called "The Apotheosis of Washington" (that has to be in a trivia question somewhere) that was painted by immigrant Greek artist Constantino Brumidi.
Below the little windows is the Frieze of American History, showing 19 memorable scenes, such as "Landing of Columbus", "Captain Smith and Pocahontas" and "The Birth of Aviation". The frieze was designed by Brumidi as well, but he only completed 7 and a half scenes before he fell off the scaffolding and later died. It was finished by a guy named Filippo Costaggini. When he got to the end of his work, there was a 31 foot gap left between the first and last pictures due to an error in design (big oops). Allyn Cox came in as the "fixer".
Bet you didn't know you'd get your history lesson for today, did you? It was just too interesting not to include.