1852
Constantino Brumidi, the "Michelangelo of the United States Capitol," fresco painter extraordinaire and other early Italian artists.


Born in Rome of a Greek father and a native Roman mother, Constantino Brumidi (1805-1880) studied art formally and won many awards as a student. After academic studies Brumidi worked as a professional painter in Rome for many years where he gained distinction for artistic works of church mural restorations and portraits of the prominenti. His talents were so highly regarded that for three years he was employed as restorer of Raphael's masterpieces in the Vatican. Brumidi emigrated to the United States in 1852, became an American citizen and resided in Washington where he earned the epithet the "Michelangelo of the United States Capitol" for his work on the Capitol dome. His "The Apothesis of Washington" is considered a remarkable classic work that emphasizes highlights of American history from the landing of Columbus to the discovery of gold in California.

Many other talented Italian painters also their made their contributions to the United States. For example, Giuseppe Cercacci (1751-1891) was responsible for introducing portrait busts to the United States while Giovanni Andrei (1757-1824) and Giuseppe Franzoni (1777-1815) were acclaimed for their sculptural embellishment of the Capitol. Another Italian sculptor to receive an important commission in the capitol was Luigi Amateis (1855-?) for his "Apotheosis of America."

St. Stephen's Church, New York City
U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C.
The Apotheosis of Washington, Rotunda, U.S. Capitol





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