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Northwest Gallery

The gallery is framed by two large murals over its doorways, War and Peace, both by the artist Gari Melchers (1860-1932).

War portrays a chieftain of a primitive culture returning home with his fellow warriors from a successful but dearly won battle. He is crowned with a wreath of laurel and sits proudly astride a magnificent white horse. Warriors carry a roughly constructed stretcher on which they are bringing home the body of a fallen comrade for burial in his native soil. A woman kneels to care for a wounded warrior.

Peace shows a religious procession. The inhabitants of a village have come to the border of a grove bearing on a platform the image of their guardian goddess. The villagers carry various objects and lead a sacrificial bull to be offered as memorials to the goddess in thanks for peace. At the left a priest reads a blessing.

Photography by Carol M. Highsmith.

Peace

Peace shows a religious procession. The inhabitants of a village have come to the border of a grove bearing on a platform the image of their guardian goddess. The villagers carry various objects and lead a sacrificial bull to be offered as memorials to the goddess in thanks for peace. At the left a priest reads a blessing.

War

War portrays a chieftain of a primitive culture returning home with his fellow warriors from a successful but dearly won battle. He is crowned with a wreath of laurel and sits proudly astride a magnificent white horse. Warriors carry a roughly constructed stretcher on which they are bringing home the body of a fallen comrade for burial in his native soil. A woman kneels to care for a wounded warrior.

War

Barrel Vault ceiling with 'CL'

The ceiling, twenty nine feet high with square coffers in blue and gold, is divided by ribs that spring from the paired pilasters. The medallions with the letters "C.L." stand for "Congressional Library," the name by which the Library of Congress was still popularly known when the new building was first opened in 1897.