The Basics

Oil on Canvas

On August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, British troops burned the Capitol and almost all other public buildings in Washington. The Capitol, shown ablaze in the background, was gutted, and only a sudden rainstorm prevented its complete destruction.

About the Cox Corridors Murals

The first floor of the U.S. Capitol's House wing is elaborately decorated with wall and ceiling murals by artist Allyn Cox. The eastern north-south corridor has been termed the Hall of Capitols because it features paintings of 16 different buildings that housed the Continental and United States Congresses from 1754 to 1865. Painted in the barrel vaults of the ceilings are eight historic events that occurred during the first 65 years of the Capitol's existence.