The Upstairs Landing

Upstairs Landing:   At the stop of the stairs is a grisaille (charcoal & chalk) sketch of the Declaration of Independence done in 1882 by Filippo Costaggini as a study for the frieze in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.  This type of drawing is done to resemble sculpture.  Costaggini followed in the footsteps of Constantino Brumidi in completing the decorative painting in the U.S. Capitol after Brumidi’s death.  Flanking the door to the servant’s wing of the house are two small oil sketches done by Constantino Brumidi for the U.S. Capitol.  The upper study is Washington at Valley Forge and the one below it is the Boston Massacre.  The Parianware statue in the niche as you go up the stairs is of the Roman god Mercury (Greek god Hermes).  The plaster bust of Justin Morrill was one of many presented to Land Grant Colleges; it was donated to the Homestead in 1999.   The oil portrait of James S. Morrill was donated to the Homestead by the University of Vermont and commissioned by his aunt, Louise Swan, after his death.  The skylight above the stair is of colored glass and gains its light from a window on the roof of the house.