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About this painting

Painting by Constantino Brumidi, The Apotheosis of Washington, 1865. Capitol Rotunda, Washington, D.C. Photograph by nickhall.

Date created
This painting copyright ©2007. Terms of use
Original image housed by U.S. Capitol Complex

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  • North Carolina History: A Sampler: A sample of the more than 800 pages of our digital textbook for North Carolina history, including background readings, various kinds of primary sources, and multimedia. Also includes an overview of the textbook and how to use it. (Page 7.3)

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In the classroom

  • See our collection of articles on visual literacy for ideas on using photographs meaningfully in the classroom.
Photograph of Constantino Brumidi's fresco in the Capitol dome, depicting George Washington's ascension to the heavens, flanked by angels and surrounded by figures representing war, science, commerce, mechanics, and agriculture.

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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.