United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
Print shows the east front of the U.S. Capitol as seen from the south-east, with pedestrians and horsedrawn carriages on plaza in front.
The invention of lithography at the turn of the 19th century opened a new world for bird illustrators. It brought many advantages to the artist — ease of use, a softness of line, and a new freedom to effect bold designs with a wide range of light and dark tones. Most of the fine ornithology books of the 19th century were prepared in folio format with hand-colored lithographic plates. The lithographic process is one of flat surface printing from a design drawn on stone. It is based on the principle of the resistance of grease to water. There are no raised or cut portions, as there are in engraving and etching. The image is drawn with greasy ink or chalk on a smooth stone, and the rest of the stone is treated with gum arabic and nitric acid. The gum retains the lines of the greasy design, which repels the water used in printing. Special paper and ink, as well as a special press, are needed to produce the prints. First used for bird illustration in 1820, lithography was widely adopted by the best artists of the century. The technique was popular because the artist could draw his own illustration directly on the lithographic stone. Prints could be made from the drawing with no intermediary such as an engraver. Accurately reproduced and then colored by hand, the resulting illustrations gave the impression of original watercolor paintings.
United States Capitol Free Sock Photos. Public Domain, Royalty Free Images. The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building or Capitol Hill, is the home of the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. President George Washington in 1791 selected the area that is now the District of Columbia from land ceded by Maryland. French engineer Pierre Charles L'Enfant who planned the new city of Washington located the Capitol at the elevated east end of the Mall, on the brow of what was then called Jenkins' Hill. The site was, in L'Enfant's words, "a pedestal waiting for a monument." President Washington laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol in the building's southeast corner on September 18, 1793, with Masonic ceremonies. Construction was a time-consuming process: the sandstone used for the building had to be ferried on boats from the quarries at Aquia, Virginia and workers had to be induced to leave their homes to come to the relative wilderness of Capitol Hill. Some third-floor rooms were still unfinished when the Congress, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and the courts of the District of Columbia occupied the U.S. Capitol in late 1800.