The frontispiece for American Scenery, an 1839 pictorial tour of the United States written by N.P. Willis, features this steel engraving of the Capitol’s East Front. The text that follows this image emphasizes the rapid growth of the country, remarking on the “Minerva-like birth of the republic” and how the traveler in America “must feed his imagination on the future.” The perspective of the view of the Capitol shown here, with its focus on verticality and the Bulfinch dome, visually reinforces this notion of ascension.
History, Art & Archives, U.S. House of Representatives, “The Ascent to the Capitol Washington,” https://history.house.gov/Collection/Listing/2004/2004-085-014/ (April 12, 2021)
Office of the Historian
Office of Art and Archives
Attic, Thomas Jefferson Building
Washington, D.C. 20515