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A Cascade of Books by Frank Eliscu (1912–1996) is a bronze sculptural screen that rises five stories above the main entrance to the James Madison Memorial Building of the Library of Congress. Measuring approximately 50 feet high by 35 feet wide, it consists of 98 open books, with some as large as five feet wide.
A Cascade of Books by Frank Eliscu (1912–1996) is a bronze sculptural screen...

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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...

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An AOC worker mowing the grass on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol
The roles and responsibilities of the Architect of the Capitol cover an...

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AOC working cleaning the National Garden
The National Garden is a treasure for everyone.

Jean Baptiste Colbert

Marble relief portrait of Jean Baptiste Colbert
Laura Gardin Fraser
Artist

Marble
28" dia.
1950
House of Representatives Chamber

Overview 

Jean Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683) French finance minister and controller general under Louis XIV; codified commercial, maritime, and colonial ordinances; reformed the French legal system.

The 23 marble relief portraits over the gallery doors of the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol depict historical figures noted for their work in establishing the principles that underlie American law. They were installed when the chamber was remodeled in 1949-1950.

Created in bas relief of white Vermont marble by seven different sculptors, the plaques each measure 28 inches in diameter. The eleven profiles in the eastern half of the chamber face left and the eleven in the western half face right, so that all look towards the full-face relief of Moses in the center of the north wall.

The subjects of the reliefs were chosen by scholars from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia Historical Society of Washington, D.C., in consultation with authoritative staff members of the Library of Congress. The selection was approved by a special committee of five Members of the House of Representatives and the Architect of the Capitol.

The plaster models for these reliefs are on display on the walls in the Rayburn House Office Building subway terminal.

 
Last Updated: October 14, 2014