The restored 1888 trompe l’oeil paint pattern frames the beautiful stained glass lay light in the Capitol rotunda. The Capitol is reopening after a critical restoration with a celebration on the afternoon of July 10, Wyoming Statehood Day. Come join us! Details available at http://www.wyomingcapitolsquare.com/.
The rotunda was painted in a style called trompe l’oeil, which means to “fool the eye.” This style of painting created an illusion of a three-dimensional effect through the use of highlights and shadows in the painting process.
Constructed in 1888, the rotunda is surrounded by four niches on the third level. Originally intended to house sculptures, the niches were never filled and sat empty for decades. At the start of the Capitol Square Project, the decision was made to finally fill the niches with sculptures. After an international search, the committee made the unanimous decision to commission the artist Delissalde to create four bronze female allegories for the Capitol. The sculptures will be revealed to the public on July 10, 2019.
The decorative painting in the rotunda and many other spaces throughout the Capitol has been restored to match the painting from the original construction. Using patterns discovered during the project and historic photos, painters were able to recreate the painting.
A closer look at the cathedral stained glass lay light located in the rotunda.
The stained glass lay light located in the rotunda was removed for safety and cleaning during the restoration work on the dome.
The stained glass lay light was not made by Tiffany, which is a common misconception.
Artists from EverGreene Architectural Arts hand painted the 1888 patterns on canvas. The hand-painted canvases were very carefully installed and then the artists touched up the paint while standing on scaffolding.
What the paint looked like in 2015 before the restoration.
Looking up at the rotunda in 1902. Photo Courtesy of Wyoming State Archives, Stimson Collection.