The Frieze of American History
The Frieze of American History, located in the rotunda of the US Capitol building, contains nineteen painted panels of various historical events, six of which relate directly to Latin American history, specifically to the early part of the colonial period and the nineteenth century. The frieze was completed over the course of several decades by three different artists, Constantino Brumidi, Filippo Costaggini and Allyn Cox. Begun in 1878, it was not completed until the year 1953. It’s interesting to see what they’ve included and how these historical scenes are depicted. All titles come from the US Capitol’s website.
“The Landing of Columbus.” This is the earliest historical panel. History starts with Columbus!
“Cortez and Moctezuma at the Mexican Temple.”
“Pizarro Going to Peru.”
“Burial of DeSoto.” This depicts the burial of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto in the Mississippi River.
“American Army Entering the City of Mexico.” A scene from the Battle of Mexico City during the Mexican-American War, depicting US General Winfield Scott.
“Naval Gun Crew in the Spanish-American War.” This panel was completed in the 1950s.