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

Featured

Black and white picture of Frederick Law Olmsted  best known for designing the grounds of New York City’s Central Park, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Regarded as the founder of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law...

Featured

Screenshot of Google Maps image of United States Capitol and surrounding areas.
Located at the center of Washington, D.C., the U.S. Capitol Building and other...

Featured

Yellow flowers in front of the Capitol Building
The Architect of the Capitol annually publishes a wide variety of publications...

Featured

Warehouses in Fort Meade, Maryland store items such as statues that were once displayed on the East Front of the Capitol.
The Architect of the Capitol is responsible for managing all of the buildings...

Peace at the End of the Civil War

Peace at the End of the Civil War
Allyn Cox
Artist

Frieze of American History
Rotunda
U.S. Capitol

Overview 

A Confederate soldier and a Union soldier shake hands, marking the reunion of the country after the devastation of the Civil War. A cotton plant and a northern pine tree symbolize the South and the North, respectively. This is the first of Allyn Cox's three scenes. (1865)

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: September 30, 2013