Stewards of the iconic buildings and grounds of Capitol Hill since 1793.

Featured

The U.S. Capitol Rotunda is a large, domed, circular room located 96 feet in diameter and 180 feet in height located in the center of the United States Capitol on the second floor.
The U.S. Capitol Rotunda is a large, domed, circular room 96 feet in diameter...

Featured

Snapshot of a crowd of people on a guided tour through the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol
Official Tours of the U.S. Capitol Building are offered Monday through...

Featured

AOC Gardener at the U.S. Botanic Gardener handling some orchids
Information about working for the Architect of the Capitol:

Featured

Picture of Richard Hartlage, Partner and CEO of Land Morphology in front of a garden
Learn from Partner and CEO of Land Morphology Richard Hartlage's experiences on...

Colonization of New England

Colonization of New England frieze
Filippo Costaggini
Artist

Frieze of American History
Rotunda
U.S. Capitol

Overview 

Early settlers cut and saw trees and use the lumber to construct a building, possibly a warehouse for their supplies.

The frieze in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol contains a painted panorama depicting significant events in American history. Thomas U. Walter's 1859 cross-section drawing of the new dome (constructed 1855-1863) shows a recessed belt atop the Rotunda walls with relief sculpture. Eventually it was painted in true fresco, a difficult and exacting technique in which the pigments are applied directly onto wet plaster. As the plaster cures the colors become part of the wall. Consequently, each section of plaster must be painted the day it is laid. The frieze is painted in grisaille, a monochrome of whites and browns that resembles sculpture. It measures 8 feet 4 inches in height and approximately 300 feet in circumference. It starts 58 feet above the floor.

The frieze is the work of three artists, Constantino Brumidi, Filippo Costaggini and Allyn Cox. It was designed by Brumidi, an Italian artist who studied in Rome before emigrating to America. Brumidi created a sketch for the Rotunda frieze in 1859 but was not authorized to begin work until 1877.

Last Updated: October 10, 2014