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

Featured

William Henry Powell’s painting of the Discovery of the Mississippi by De Soto
William Henry Powell’s dramatic and brilliantly colored canvas was the last of...

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

Painted Portrait of Benjamin Henry Latrobe
Benjamin Henry Latrobe was hired by President Jefferson in 1803 to fill the...

Featured

East Front Plaza Repairs
AOC is making repairs to expansion joints on the East Front Plaza of the...

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