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The Apotheosis of Washington - U S Capitol Rotunda

The Apotheosis of Washington in the eye of the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol was painted in the true fresco technique by Constantino Brumidi in 1865. A master of creating the illusion of three-dimensional forms and figures on flat walls, Brumidi painted frescoes and murals throughout the Capitol from 1855 until his death. The canopy fresco, his most ambitious work at the Capitol, was painted in eleven months at the end of the Civil War, soon after the new dome was completed, for $40,000. Suspended 180 feet above the Rotunda floor, it covers an area of 4,664 square feet. The figures, up to 15 feet tall, were painted to be intelligible from close up as well as from 180 feet below. Some of the groups and figures were inspired by classical and Renaissance images, especially by those of the Italian master Raphael.

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Taken on October 6, 2008