|Title||Principal Front of the Capitol Washington.|
|Medium||Steel engraving, hand-colored|
|Dimensions||h. 6.5625 x w. 7.25 in. ( h. 16.66875 x w. 18.415 cm)|
|Credit Line||U.S. Senate Collection|
English artist William Henry Bartlett (1809-1854) traveled extensively throughout this country between 1836 and 1838, producing numerous watercolors of locations along the eastern United States. In all, Bartlett made 115 sketches from nature–primarily romantic scenes that emphasized the untamed American landscape, with some notable buildings also depicted. These images were published as engravings in 1839, in a volume titled American Scenery. The publication was an immediate success, both in this country and in Europe, as it provided some of the earliest and most accurate views of the American countryside. Numerous printmakers later copied Bartlett’s views, while other artists reproduced the images in oil for sale to the public. This Bartlett print, engraved by fellow Englishman Robert Brandard, depicts the Capitol as completed in 1826. Bartlett’s original watercolor of the scene is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Senate owns several other engravings after Bartlett images.