"U.S. Flag Behind Capitol" by Ron Sloan, Mixed Media Painting on Illustration Board, 1985

Presented is “U.S. Flag Behind Capitol,” an original mixed-media painting by American artist Ron Sloan.  The drawing shows an intricately detailed rendering of the front entrance to the United States Capitol building. Behind the Capitol is a large, waving American flag, set outside an orange-hued rounded rectangle. Sloan created this stunning artwork in February of 1985, for use on the Fleetwood First Day Cover of the 22 cent “Flag Over Capitol” stamp, issued in March of that same year.

The painting depicts the iconic neoclassical building from the east orientation, with it’s dome towering overhead. Plans began in May of 1854 to build a new cast-iron dome for the United States Capitol. The then-architect of the Capitol Thomas Walter and his team were sold on the aesthetics of a new dome, as well as the utility of a fire-proof one. A year later, on March 3, 1855, President Franklin Pierce signed off on the appropriation of $100,000 to build the dome. Construction began in September of that year with the removal of the first dome raised by Charles Bulfinch. Over the next 11 years, the dome rose over the nation's capital. 

By December of 1863, Walter was able to set the bronze sculpture “Statue of Freedom” atop the dome. Thomas Walter resigned in 1865 and his replacement, Edward Clark, assumed the role of finishing the last aspects of the dome. Just over a month later, in January 1866, Constantino Brumidi, who had been hired to paint a fresco above the interior dome's oculus, removed the scaffolding used during his work on the Apotheosis of Washington. This signaled the end of construction for the United States Capitol dome.

A First Day Cover consists of an envelope and a stamp tied together by a theme, usually celebrating a historic moment or historical figure. Very collectible, First Day Covers feature a stamp canceled on its first day of issue and a large artistic cachet that usually fills most of the envelope. The artistry that goes into these envelopes is very impressive, as they have to celebrate a moment in history and compliment the art on the stamp. Fleetwood First Day Covers are produced for both commemorative and regular issue U.S. stamps of all denominations.


Mixed- media painting on illustration board. Colors are vibrant. Signed in lower right of composition. Verso is stamped with several past collection stamps, including Unilever Corporation reference numbers and registrar information. Unframed. Image size: 17 1/2” H x 16 1/4”W. Paper size: 25 1/2” H x 19 3/4” W.

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