Washington Peace Monument


Public Art : Washington Peace Monument

Also Known As: The Naval Monument or Civil War Sailors Monument

Sculptor: © Franklin Bachelder Simmons (January 11th, 1839 – December 8th, 1913)

Description: The 44 foot (13.4 m) high white Carrara marble memorial was erected in honor of the naval men who lost their lives at sea during the American Civil War . The monument was based on a sketch by Admiral David Porter. The monument features the robed female figures of Grief (America), History , Victory and Peace. Grief and History stand together at the top of the monument , with Grief covering her face with her right hand as she gently weeps on the shoulder of History. History holds a tablet  inscribed with the words "They died that their country might live."

Victory stands below the two figures of Grief and History. She holds up high a laurel wreath in her right hand and in her left she holds an oak branch. Victory is looking down at her feet where the infant Mars (god of war) and the infant Neptune (god of sea) sit. Mars is depicted holding a sword in his right hand and wearing a crested helmet. Neptune is depicted holding a trident in his left hand.

On the other side of the monument, facing the Capitol building, stands the semi naked figure of Peace holding an olive sprig. Below her are symbols of peace, art, science and industry including a sheaf of wheat and a sickle resting across a sword.

The fountain base below is quatrefoil-shaped.

Inscription :

In memory of the officers, seamen and marines of the United States Navy who fell in defense of the Union and liberty of their country, 1861-1865.

Date unveiled : Dedicated in 1877

Funded by : Private contributors

Location: The Peace Monument is part of a three sculptural group which includes the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial and the James A. Garfield Monument located in Peace Circle on the grounds of the United States Capitol. First Street, N.W., and Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. USA.

Trivia : The Peace Monument was originally intended for Annapolis, Maryland.

The sculptor carved the Carrara marble in Rome, Italy.

A dove once adorned the monument below the Peace statue but it has long gone.

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