The seven panels in this series were created as a companion piece to the Corning Fountain Series. They include, the six allegorical figures that surround the dome of the Connecticut State Capitol Building and also, a bronze replica of the original ‘Genius of Connecticut Statue’ which originally stood atop the spire of the gold dome but now rests on the ground floor within the Capitol building.
All panels are paintied in the same 'sketch-like' manner as the Corning Fountain Series, using acrylic paint on chip board with penciled grid lines as a base.
Below is more history on the statues.
Capitol Statue History
On August 6, 1878 A. E. Burr president of the state capitol commission, contracted J.G. Batterson, a hartford stone cutter, to recreate from Sicilian marble, each in one block, replicas of the six wooden allegorical maidens created by sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward. Each figure weighs approximantly 8 tons and was placed around the dome in May of 1879. Due to monetary reasons 6 of the original 12 maiden statues commissioned were used in duplicate to ring the base of the gold dome.
Walking up one of the two stair cases that mirror each other inside the capitol building up to the main House Chamber are poured cast replicas of the original wood statues created by John Quincy Adams Ward. I used these smaller versions of the dome statues as reference for each of the six paintings.
The Genius of Connecticut
Artist: Randolph Rogers
On display in the north lobby of the Capitol is the original plaster model used in the casting of the bronze Genius.
The historic 6,600-pound sculpture was created by Randolph Rogers, a Rome-based American, to symbolize the "protector" of the state of Connecticut. The sculptor named the original piece "The Angel of the Resurrection" with her open arms presenting the state flower, Mountain Laurel in her left hand and the Immortalis flowers in her right hand signaling long life. It was renamed "The Genius of Connecticut." The use of the word "genius" connotes that she is a protector figure or a symbol of the spirit of the people of Connecticut.
The model was made in Rome and the 3.5 ton, 17 feet 10 inches tall figure was cast in Munich, Germany. Visitors to the Capitol from Germany have said the statue is similar to one that stands in a famous Munich square, where it is called "Bavaria" in honor of that region of the country. That piece is 60-feet tall and was finished in 1850 in the same foundry where the Rogers piece was cast.
The statue stood atop the Capitol dome from 1878 until 1938.
In 1938 a great hurricane hit the eastern coast of the country.
The Genius was damaged and people feared that she would fall from the dome. After a long debate, the statue was removed and placed in the basemsent.
In 1942, the statue was ordered melted down for World War II munitions by Gov. Robert A. Hurley, a Bridgeport Democrat. It was donated to the federal government as part of the war effort to make ammunition and machine parts.
Connecticut was left with the full-size, but fragile 1,200-pound plaster model of the work, which has been on display in the Capitol since its opening in 1878 and reinforcement in the early 1970s.
In the statue's right hand (viewer's left) is a wreath of immortalis or dried flowers to symbolize long life. In her other hand is a wreath of Mountain Laurel, the state flower. On her head she wears white oak leaves for strength from our state tree. The statue's outstretched wings are to protect the people of Connecticut. The Genius has "Roman Toes"; her second toe is longer than the big toe. Some people believe that women with such toes will be placed in positions of power or importance.
The plaster model was restored in the 1980s. At that time a special internal support system was designed for her wings and arms and she was painted bronze. The roman numerals on the marble base are for 1878 (when the bronze statue was placed on the dome) and 1987 (when the model was given a new base).
In August of 2007, Direct Dimensions Inc., a computer-design firm from the Mills, Md., had a team use three different kinds of lasers to track and map every surface of the original plaster statue to create another bronze statue. The finished piece sits in the Capitol rotunda next to the original plaster statue.
from- cga.ct.gov and ctpost.com