Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday: Washington DC #5




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.




19 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Today's the perfect day for a history lesson. I hope you're having a fabulous trip!

caite said...

it is a fantastic sight...you don't realize how big it really is until you figure out the scale.
so many great sites..and sights... in D.C....

Marie said...

that's awesome, and perfect timing. beautiful!

Anita said...

Thanks for the history lesson, perfect timing too:). I really love DC, and need to get back there.
Have a wonderful vacation!!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

You've got to give Costaggini credit for getting up there after the guy before him fell off and died!

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

It's astounding to me to see sights like this, knowing that the creators didn't have all the modern technology available today. Hard work and perseverance :) Have a great 4th!

ds said...

Perfect post for this day. Thanks for the lesson; I hadn't known any of it. Enjoy your holiday!

Zibilee said...

This is the coolest thing, and knowing the history behind it makes it even more cool. Have a great 4th of July over there Sandy! I hope that you get a chance to have a wonderful time with your family!

Beth(bookaholicmom) said...

Now I can say I learned something new today! I never knew that and it is very interesting. I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

I didn't know that, but I love learning that stuff!!!

The Bumbles said...

Oh, I dunno, I'd do pretty much anything for a unique photo, including risking being trampled by tourists while lying on the floor ;0)

C.B. James said...

That is the most bizarre painting story I've ever heard. A 31 foot gap!!! I more modern artist would have put in a large depiction of a tape recorder, maybe.

Alyce said...

I'm thinking, how could he not notice the gap before it was finished? :) Maybe there was a bit of wishful thinking that it was going to work anyway.

We didn't get to the capitol building this time when we visited. We had to choose between that and an afternoon spent with a friend, and the friend won out. Hopefully next time (our youngest is the only one who hasn't seen it yet).

Kathleen said...

Great picture. I love D.C and can't wait to go there again one day.

Serena said...

I love the Rotunda..but I hate how the tours rush you through the place.

darah rendah said...

wow...........

radang paru paru said...

indahnya..........

ambeien said...

wonderfull

gagal ginjal said...

i like it