WASH DC – DAY 3: Old stuff

I have had time before my flight home to visit, for the first time since 1976, the National Archive to view the charter documents of the founding of these USA.

No photos allowed, alas.

While it was great to see the Declaration and Constitution and Bill of Rights, I was more interested to see the Lee Resolution, proposed at the behest of Virginia in June 1776 and passed on 2 July.


And then there is the copy of 1297 Magna Carta.


I like the fact that Magna Carta is here a few steps from the US National Gallery while a few steps from the UK National Gallery is a statue of George Washington.

Now lunch at the Gallery before seeing some last pieces.


My handy notebook is there. I make lots of notes and sketches in musea. Thanks again to the reader who sent the little books from my wish list.


Since I can’t post shots of my feeder easily, I must have recourse to museum visits for my Feeder Feed.

Here is Giuliano de Medici. a striking fellow to be sure.


Giuliano came to a bad end. A painting commemorates him. Botticelli’s rendition:


The half open door recalls imagery on ancient Roman sarcophagi. It is a sign that the resident – and you – will pass through and pass away.

But what about that bird in the dead, dry branch?


Meet Mrs Turtle Dove, widow. They are symbols of constancy, because it is said that they mate for life.

In this case Mrs Turtle Dove could be an allusion to the famed beauty Simonetta Vespucci, renowned as the easiest on the eyes of her era.

She died a couple years before, if memory serves. I’m working on memories from the spectacular Italian Renaissance Portrait exhibit at the Met a few years back.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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One Comment

  1. Jon says:


    One of my favorite documents to peer at in the National Archives is the Treaty of Paris of 1783, that ended the War of Independence. If you squint, you can just read the faded, opening sentence:

    “In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity. ”

    With a heading like that, it’s very gratifying to read the signature of the rascal Deist Benjamin Franklin below.

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