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

Featured

The Madison Building serves both as the Library's third major structure and as this nation's official memorial to President James Madison.
Opened in 1980, measuring 500 feet wide and 400 feet deep, the Madison...

Featured

A view of the Capitol Visitor Center lit up at night
The Office of Congressional Accessibility Services (OCAS) provides a variety...

Featured

AOC Receives Historic Preservation Award
The Architect of the Capitol strives to perform all work at a high level of...

Featured

Instagrammers in the Olmsted Summerhouse on the Capitol Grounds
Early on this beautiful September morning, a group of Instagrammers came...

Sir William Blackstone

Sir William Blackstone
Thomas Hudson Jones
Artist

Marble
28" dia.
1950
House of Representatives Chamber

Overview 

Sir William Blackstone (1793-1780) English jurist; professor of common law at Oxford; author of Commentaries on the Laws of England, which had considerable influence on the importation and adaptation of English common law in America.

The 23 marble relief portraits over the gallery doors of the House Chamber 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: June 27, 2012