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Atlas and the Hesperides - step closer Hercules and the Hydra Orestes - step closer Apollo in His Chariot with the Hours - step closer The Winds - step closer Chiron and Achilles - step closer Phaehon - step closer Perseus on Pegasus Slaying Medusa The Danaides - step closer   The Rotunda The Rotunda
Grand Stairway
Facing the Rotunda
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Rotunda and Colonnade
Jpg: local
The facing medallion mural within the Rotunda is none other than Athena protecting Architecture, Painting and Sculpture from the ravages of Time. As we climb the stairs Sargent has allowed us to ponder a nice visual Mission Statement to this grand building and those that labor in it. 
Architecture, Painting and Sculpture Protected by Athena from the Ravages of Time

What you can't see in this picture, directly above us and to the right and left is the decorations to the Colonnade and ceiling. This photo was taken between the first commission - the Rotunda and the second commission - the Colonnade. This is known since you will note the position of the columns within the colonnade compared to the ceiling photo below. JSS wanted architectural changes to the space "for he suggested repositioning the mammoth, evenly spaced columns on either side of the stairs so they would form a series of pairs, creating a rhythm that was more harmonious to the eye while generating larger spaces for the murals" (The Second Commission: The Stairway, page 21 from Sargents Murals at the MFA, Boston.)

Stairway Ceiling Decorations 
Looking straight up

The Rotunda

Rotunda Dome Decorations
Looking straight up

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston




By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2005 all rights reserved
Created 1/16/2005