Salewski depicted a very famous object from Connecticut’s history. In 1687, the Colony’s Royal Charter, which was a liberal document granting many freedoms to colonists, was hidden in an oak tree in Hartford by one Captain Joseph Wadsworth. This action was taken in order to prevent the document’s being taken by representatives of the British Crown. Treated in high relief, the tree fills the essentially triangular shape of the tympanum. The large branches of the old tree have clumps of leaves massed upon them. The crack in the trunk of the oak, into which the precious document was placed, is centrally-placed in this depiction in order that its importance not be lost on the spectator.
State Capitol, East Facade, central tympanum
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