These are photographs, in no specific order,
of the plaster frieze encircling the dome above the corbel statues.
The frieze, which is considered by many to be some of the best artwork in
the capitol, is painted to resemble bronze. There is some doubt as to the
chronological order of the panels and the events depicted in the scenes.
The description below is from the 1900 edition of the Illinois Blue
the base of the inner dome, is a series of allegorical and historical
pictures, in bas relief, of conceded artistic merit. Among these are the
discussion of the stamp act, in the Virginia House of Burgesses, with
Patrick Henry as the central figure, making his memorable address, and
Washington and Richard Henry Lee among his attentive auditors; the
evacuation of Yorktown by the British forces; Peter Cartwright, the
pioneer preacher, conducting a religious service in a “settler’s” cabin;
the surrender of Black Hawk at Prairie du Chien; and a joint debate
between those giants of the political forum, Abraham Lincoln and Steven A.
Douglas, in their great campaign of 1858. In these historical
representatives all of the figures are supposed to be portraits of
historical characters. Many of them are easily recognized, but others it
seems impossible to identify, as the gifted artist, T. Nicolai, who
designed and executed the work, dying before it was wholly completed, left
no key to the different groups so graphically represented."