Sunday, January 30, 2011

Minnesota State Capitol Senate Chamber

I am starting a new feature called Minnesota Mondays featuring Minnesota postcards. The image used on the title button is the Minnesota State Capitol from a postcard published by V. O. Hammon.

The postcard featured this week is another V. O. Hammon card of the Senate Chamber in the Minnesota State Capitol.

Here is a description of the Senate Chamber from the The Minnesota capitol: official guide and history by Julie Celina Gauthier dated 1907 and digitized by Google:

THE SENATE CHAMBER. The Senate Chamber occupies the center of the west wing, and is lighted by a circular dome decorated in old ivory and gold, which also forms an ornament to the exterior.

Opposite to the main entrance is the raised chair and desk of the presiding officer, with two columns and entablature forming a background. Above this, as well as upon the opposite side, are arched openings to galleries for spectators. The marble used for columns, pilasters, door-casings and base is of Fleur de Peche (peach blossom) imported from France. It has a soft creamy ground toning to yellow, flecked with strong violets and rich reds. It is considered the most beautiful marble in the building.

The pendentives between the arches are decorated with figures of "Freedom," "Courage," "Justice" and "Equality," designed by Mr. Garnsey and done by Mr. Willett. These and all the other decorations are in lower tones of color than are the two lunettes by Mr. Blashfield, for which they form a suitable setting. The subdued richness of the room could only be accomplished by the combined efforts and understanding of the several artists who worked for this result.

MR. BLASHFIELD'S PAINTING—"THE DISCOVERERS AND CIVILIZERS LED TO THE SOURCE OF THE MISSISSIPPI." In his two lunettes—which are said by the critics in the East to be his best work—Mr. Blashfield has admirably attuned his colors to their surroundings. The general tone of color in "The Discoverers and Civilizers Led to the Source of the Mississippi" is a cool white and green in the center, changing into soft warm greys and reds towards the sides.

In the center of the picture, seated upon a slight elevation, and in august dignity, is the Great Manitou, the chief god of the Indians. In his hand he holds an urn from which pours the Father of Waters, the Mississippi river. At the right are a number of men—the first explorers and pioneers over whom soars the Spirit of Discovery holding a mariner's compass in one hand and pointing towards the Source of the Mississippi with the other. This group is menaced by a superb Indian in war bonnet, who stands near an Indian girl who crouches at the foot of the Great Manitou, and to whom a priest is offering salvation in the form of a crucifix, across the rushing waters. Back of the priest are men, women and children; the dogs held in leash and the boat upon the opposite side show the principal means of travel in the early days. The colonists are guided by the Spirit of Civilization, who floats gracefully above them. The background consists of pine trees, rocks and sky.

1 comment:

  1. Ah yes, the colonists are guided by the great spirit of civilization. What a great card.


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