Click main image below to view enlargements and captions.

View, Washington, D.C., U.S. Capitol, Antique Lithograph, Stinson, Maine, 1871 (Sold)

U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.
George Stinson & Co., Portland, Maine: 1871
Lithograph, printed in tinted colors, finished by hand
18.75 x 29 inches, printed border
21.75 x 31.75 inches, overall

This item is sold. It has been placed here in our online archives as a service for researchers and collectors.

Front elevation view of the United States Capitol building, with trees in the foreground. It is shown as it appeared shortly after a period of continuous major construction including the present-day dome, spanning 1855-66. The finishing touches to the dome were Thomas Crawford’s Statue of Freedom, placed atop it in 1863, and Constantino Brumidi’s interior fresco of The Apotheosis of Washington in 1866. Since 1871, when this print was made, the only significant additions to the Capitol have been the west front terraces (1884-92) and the east front extension (1958-62). The print has green and brown tinting in the trees and vegetation in the foreground, and light blue tinting in the sky. Apparently it is a scarce print, few examples are noted in a website search.

Product description continues below.

Description

Statistical information about the building is printed in the lower margin on each side of the title: “Cost of Building, 80,000,000 to 90,000,000, of Dollars. Whole extent of building 751 Feet 4 inches. Area of ground actually covered 153,112 square Feet.”

The Capitol, one of the most famous U.S. landmarks, is described on the website of the Architect of the Capitol as follows:

“The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., is among the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world. It has housed the meeting chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives for almost two centuries. Begun in 1793, the Capitol has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored; today, it stands as a monument not only to its builders but also to the American people and their government.”

George Stinson & Company was a lithography firm in Portland, Maine, operating from at least 1871 to 1890. In 1871, the firm produced a front elevation view of the United States Capitol building. In that same year they also published lithographs of U.S. presidents with their families, including Lincoln, Grant and Washington; such patriotic prints were popular in the mid 19th century and issued by a variety of firms. In 1876, George Stinson & Co. published the patriotic print for the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition: In Remembrance of The One Hundredth Anniversary of The Independence of The United States. It includes an allegorical figure of Columbia sitting on a throne on a pedestal above the words, “And the star spangled banner in triumph still waves o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Among their other prints were Hunting on the Susquehanna, which was also issued by Currier & Ives (number 3308).

References:

Peters, Harry T. America on Stone. U.S.: Doubleday, Doran, 1931. p. 376.

“The Capitol Dome.” Architect of the Capitol.  http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/dome.cfm (11 October 2005).

“The United States Capitol: An Overview of the Building and Its Function.” Architect of the Capitol. http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/index.cfm (11 October 2005).

Additional information

Century

19th Century