The Apotheosis of Washington
Photograph of Constantino Brumidi’s 1865 fresco in the Capitol dome, entitled The Apotheosis of Washington. The fresco (a painting done on fresh, moist plaster) depicts George Washington’s apotheosis — or elevation to the rank of a god. In the painting, Washington has ascended to the heavens. He sits in the center of the image, with a rainbow at his feet. The female figures to his right and left represent Liberty and Victory/Fame. The thirteen other women in the central circle represent the original thirteen states. The outer ring contains figures symbolizing other important aspects of the young nation. Directly below Washington is War, followed by (proceeding clockwise) Science, Marine, Commerce, Mechanics, and Agriculture.
Brumidi spent eleven months painting the 4,664 square-foot fresco following the completion of the dome at the end of the Civil War.