16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm)
Framed: 20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm)
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
This small oil sketch was Brumidi's first work for the Capitol. Although the artist is famous for creating most of the building's frescoes, supervising engineer Montgomery Meigs initially had him paint a single room. This sketch contains Brumidi’s ideas for lunettes at either end of the space. The subject of the top image is “Calling of Cincinnatus from the Plow,” a tale of patriotism from the ancient Roman Republic. Below is an allegorical figure of Agriculture with Native American figures offering tobacco and wheat and personifications of rivers in the corners. The results were so successful that Brumidi's commissions in the Capitol ultimately occupied the rest of his long career.