Panorama of Washington

Panorama of Washington

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This 1860 colored lithograph celebrates George Washington and many important buildings from around the capital. At the top of the work, a portrait of Washington is flanked by images of Mount Vernon and his tomb. His image is encircled by the words, “First in War / First in Peace / and first in the hearts of his Countrymen.” Below Washington’s portrait is a colored illustration of the Statue of Freedom, the bronze statue commissioned to adorn the dome of the Capitol Building. Scenes of the Senate and the House of Representatives are included on either side of Freedom. Below the statue are arrayed 23 illustrations of famous D.C. landmarks, including the United States General Post Office, the United States Treasury, the Willard Hotel, the United States Navy Yard, the United States Arsenal, Georgetown College, the United States Patent Office, and the “Smithsonian Institute” [sic]. Below these, a bird’s eye view of Washington, D.C. contains a rendering of the completed Capitol Building. At the time of the print’s publication, the building’s dome was still under construction. At the bottom of the print, an illustration of the Washington Monument is situated between an image of Washington during the Revolution and an allegory of Columbia with two cherubs. In 1860, the Washington Monument remained unfinished and this illustration of the monument features its original design: an obelisk surrounded by a circular colonnade, which would be topped by a statue of Washington driving a chariot.
Charles Magnus (1826-1900) was born Julian Carl Magnus in Germany and immigrated with his family to New York City sometime between 1848 and 1850. During the 1850s, he learned the printing business while working with his brother on a German language weekly newspaper, the Deutsche Schnellpost. He later began his own lithographer firm, producing city views and commercial letterhead designs. During the Civil War, he designed pro-Union envelopes and illustrated song sheets. The firm’s Washington, D.C. branch also produced small, hand-colored scenes of Union camps and hospitals. Soldiers purchased these picturesque scenes of camp life to send home to calm the worries of anxious family members.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
Washington, George
Magnus, Charles
place made
United States: New York, New York City
United States: District of Columbia, Capitol Hill, United States Capitol
image: 31 1/2 in x 9 in; 80.01 cm x 22.86 cm
ID Number
catalog number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Civil War
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
American Civil War Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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