Apotheosis of George Washington

The fresco "Apotheosis of George Washington" in the canopy over the U.S. Capitol Rotunda was painted by Constantino Brumidi in 1865. In the center, George Washington is shown rising to the heavens in glory, flanked by 13 maidens and female figures representing Liberty/Authority and Victory/Fame. Six groups of figures on the ground below represent fields in which the nation was recognized for its accomplishments: War, Science, Marine, Commerce, Mechanics and Agriculture. Each group includes gods and goddesses from classical mythology, individuals from American history and modern inventions. Artist Constantino Brumidi, born and trained in Rome, painted the canopy fresco over 11 months at the end of the Civil War. Suspended 180 feet above the Rotunda floor, it covers an area of 4,664 square feet.