This painting in the US Capitol Building depicts George Washington as a god. Find out more about this unique painting
Italian artist Constantino Brumidi was asked to paint a mural in the dome of the United States Capitol Building. Brumidi painted for many of the wealthy in Italy before he immigrated to America to continue painting, and he spent the remainder of his life doing work in the Capitol Building.
Brumidi completed the painting he was asked to create and named it "The Apotheosis of Washington." Apotheosis is the glorification of a person on a divine level. He decided to depict Washington this way because he was America's first president and lead the Continental Army to victory during the American Revolution.
Washington is surrounded by other figures from classical mythology, along with 13 other maidens with stars above their heads to represent the thirteen colonies. If you look closely, a number of these maidens have their back faced towards Washington. This was to represent the colonies that withdrew from the Union at the time the painting was drawn.
Furthermore, there is an outer circle around Washington and the maidens that is barely visible when looking up at the painting from the main floor of the Capitol Building. There are also six different scenes that represent different national concepts that make up the United States. The six different scenes start at Washington's feet and include war, science, marine, commerce, mechanics, and agriculture. Brumidi added these scenes to show what powers the United States.
So, next time you are in our nation's capital, be sure to look up when entering the Capitol Building!