Constantino Brumidi Bronze Medal

Last week, a Congressional Gold Medal was posthumously presented to Constantino Brumidi (1805-1880) in recognition of his contributions to the nation. He is best known for his fresco work in the Capitol Building in Washington DC. The medal was authorized under Public Law 110-259, enacted on July 1, 2008.

The obverse of the medal includes a portrait of Constantino Brumidi within a decorative border based on his designs. The reverse includes the central portion of Brumidi’s masterpiece “The Apotheosis of Washington” which adorns the eye of the Capitol Dome. Inscriptions on the reverse include “Artist of the Capitol” and “2008 Act of Congress”. Both the obverse and reverse were designed and sculpted by Don Everhart.

Bronze reproductions of the medal are available for purchase from the United States Mint. The 3-inch medal is priced at $39.95 and the 1.5-inch medal is priced at $6.95.

Some interesting numismatic related asides:

Constatino Brumidi is also known for creating the first tribute to an African American in the Capitol when he placed the figure of Crispus Attucks in the center of his fresco of the Boston Massacre. Crispus Attucks later appeared on the obverse of the 1998 Black Revolutionary War Patriots Silver Dollar.

When the US Mint announced the new reverse design for the Lincoln Cent featuring the Union Shield, it was noted that the shield device had been featured throughout the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building within frescoes by Constantino Brumidi.

Public Law 110-259 directs the Congressional Gold Medal to be displayed in the Capitol Visitor Center as part of an exhibit honoring Constantino Brumidi. A 2001 commemorative coin program including $5 gold coins, silver dollars, and clad half dollars was authorized for the then-proposed Capitol Visitor Center.

The Capitol Building itself has been featured prominently on several US coins, including the coins issued within separate commemorative programs for the bicentennial of Congress  in 1989 and bicentennial of the building  in 1994. The Capitol building also appears in the background of the Augustus Saint Gaudens’ obverse design for the gold double eagle, later used for the American Gold Eagle.

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  1. SmallPotatos says

    Thank you Michael for writing this article. I purchased teh Crispus Attucks coins shortly after i started collecing (2000) as i wanted to collect coins (and still do) that are emblematic of the founding of our country, and of those that were instrumental in some way.

    The ‘wreath’, or decorative border, is an interesting design. Has it appeared on any coins that you are aware?

  2. Mint News Blog says

    Not that I can recall off the top of my head, but perhaps on some other medals.

  3. David says

    Just ordered the small version of this medal yesterday along with a few must-have items. I must say the portrait of the quirky looking fellow looks to be very well executed; much more lifelike than, say, the presidential dollars or first spouse coins. I hadn’t noticed the reverse design until I looked at your blog, but that looks to be exceptional as well… and perfectly suited to the shape of a round coin. That would be really cool on a convex coin, like the baseball coin you described in another post, since it was originally designed for the Capitol Dome. I may have to spring for the larger bronze if it turns out I really like it.

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