An Italian-American historical painter, celebrated for his fresco work in the Capitol at Washington, b. at Rome, 1805; d. at Washington, 19 February, 1880. His father was a native of Greece and his mother a Roman. He showed his talent for fresco painting at an early age and painted in several Roman palaces, among them being that of Prince Torlonia. Under Gregory XVI he worked for three years in the Vatican. The occupation of Rome by the French in 1849 apparently decided Brumidi to emigrate, and he sailed for the United States, where he became naturalized in 1852. Taking up his residence in New York City the artist painted a number of portraits. Subsequently he undertook more important works, the principal being a fresco of the Crucifixion in St. Stephen's Church, for which he also executed a "Martyrdom of St. Stephen " and an "Assumption of the Virgin". In 1854 Brumidi went to the city of Mexico, where he painted in the cathedral as allegorical representation of the Holy Trinity. On his way back to New York he stopped at Washington and visited the Capitol. Impressed with the opportunity for decoration presented by its vast interior wall spaces, he offered his services for that purpose to Quartermaster-General Meigs. This offer was accepted, and about the same time he was commissioned as a captain of cavalry. His first art work in the Capitol was in the room of the House Cornmittee on Agriculture. At first he received eight dollars a day, which Jefferson Davis, then Secretary of War of the United States, caused to be increased to ten dollars. His work attracting much favourable attention, he was given further commissons, and gradually settled into the position of a Government painter. His chief work in Washington was done in the rotunda of the Capitol and included the apotheosis of Washington in the dome, as well as other allegories, and scenes from American history. His work in the rotunda was left unfinished at his death, but he had decorated many other of the building. In the Catholic Cathedral of Philadelphia he pictured St. Peter and St. Paul. Brumidi was a capable, if conventional painter, and his black and white modelling in the work at Washington, in imitation of bas-relief, is strikingly effective.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online