Constantino Brumidi, the Michelangelo of the Capitol

Jan 13, 2017 1118

Constantino Brumidi (1805–1880) is best known for the murals he painted in the United States Capitol over a 25-year period, including the Apotheosis of Washington, the Frieze of American History and the walls of the Brumidi Corridors. His artistic vision was based on the wall paintings of ancient Rome and Pompeii and on the classical revivals that occurred in the Renaissance and Baroque periods and in the early 19th-century.

Brumidi was born in Rome before Italy was a nation. Beginning at age 13, he studied for 14 years at the Academy of St. Luke and was trained in the full range of painting mediums, including true fresco, and possibly in sculpture. He achieved a mastery of the human figure and learned how to create the appearance of three-dimensional forms on flat surfaces, an effect called trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye").

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