I have been in the Capitol several times. Each time I enter is a new experience. I don’t know how to explain the feeling that engulfs me. It’s a combination of wonder, awe, respect, excitement, humility, pride, and much more. The above two images were taken looking directly up from near the center of the Capitol Rotunda. I was shivering with awe when I took these images and had a very difficult time trying to be steady enough to get a decent shot.
The Apotheosis of Washington was painted by Constantino Brumidi in 1865. It depicts George Washington rising to the heavens in glory. The fresco is 180 feet above the Rotunda floor.
‘Washington, Liberty, and Victory/Fame’
George Washington is flanked by two female figures representing Liberty and Victory/Fame. Thirteen maidens, symbolizing the 13 original states, surround the three main figures. Six groups of figures are painted around Washington, Liberty, Victory/Fame, and the thirteen maidens. These represent war, science, marine, commerce, mechanics, and agriculture.
‘War’ is depicted by Armed Freedom and Eagle defeating Tyranny and Kingly Power.
The siege of our Capitol yesterday by the Trump-incited mob is a travesty of respect for our democracy. For me, it will never be forgotten.
I reflect on more sane times like this image taken on a warm summer late afternoon around a decade ago. I have been lucky to have had the opportunity to be able to freely walk around the various sections and chambers of the Capitol back in the Reagan administration. It made me proud to watch open Congressional sessions. I gained an insight and appreciation of our Democracy in progress. Those opportunities are no longer available to the general public.
Many have not had the opportunity to visit the Capitol. My aunt, who was a retired school teacher, saw the Capitol for her first time in her late years. Tears came to her eyes, and she exclaimed that every young student should have the opportunity to visit the Capitol to understand how our nation is governed.
For the next several posts, I will share images of the experiences I have had working in and visiting our Capitol.