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

Featured

This painting by Allyn Cox depicts the cornerstone laying ceremony and is currently on display in the House Wing of the U.S. Capitol Building.
The cornerstone was laid on Wednesday, September 18, 1793, during the first...

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

Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol
On February 24, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Mr. Ayers to serve as...

Featured

Black and white photograph of Union Troops lined up in front of the Capitol in 1861
Weekdays at 3 p.m. — In honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, a...

Jean Baptiste Colbert

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.
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: September 25, 2014