[Great Hall. Detail of putti (gardener with a spade and a...  family photo

[Great Hall. Detail of putti (gardener with a spade and a...

[Great Hall. Detail of putti (gardener with a spade and a rake) on the Grand staircase by Philip Martiny. Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.] ... show more

[Great Hall. Detail of putti (gardener with a spade and a rake) on the Grand staircase by Philip Martiny. Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.]
1 photograph : digital, TIFF file, color.
  • Title devised by Library staff.
  • Exhibit caption: "The figures on the staircase are known as "putti" and represent the various occupations, habits, and pursuits of contemporary American life at the time when the Jefferson Building was built in the late nineteenth century. A putto (plural putti) is a figure of a pudgy human baby, almost always male, often naked and having wings, found especially in Italian Renaissance art. The four bottom figures include: A Gardener, with spade and rake; An Entomologist, with a specimen box slung over his shoulder, running to catch a butterfly in his net; A Student, with a book in his hand and a mortar board on his head; A Printer, with types, a press, and a type case. The four top figures include: A Musician, with a lyre by his side, studying pages of a music book; A Physician, grinding drugs in a mortar, with a distilling vessel beside him, and the serpent sacred to medicine; An Electrician, with a star of electric rays shining on his brow and a telephone receiver at his ear; An Astronomer, with a telescope and a globe, encircled by the signs of the zodiac that he is measuring by the aid of a pair of compasses." (Source: MyLOC.gov Great Hall exhibit, 2008)
  • Forms part of the Carol M. Highsmith Archive.
  • Highsmith (Carol M.) Archive
Martiny, Philip, 1858-1927 , sculptor
  • Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building (Washington, D.C.)--2000-2010.
  • Architectural sculpture--Washington (D.C.)--2000-2010.
  • Putti--2000-2010.
  • Digital photographs--Color--2000-2010.
Highsmith, Carol M., 1946-, photographer
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Photo provided courtesy of the United States Library of Congress.