Cox's mosaic panels are twelve feet high and have an average length of twenty-four feet. Each mosaic consists of approximately 100,000 pieces of glass tile and represents Wisconsin's three branches of government (the legislative, the executive and the judicial) and liberty - the foundation of all power in a free country.
"Justice" is represented by a young woman seated in a lion throne, who tests the scales in the balance to demonstrate the purely judicial function of weighing one cause against the other.
"Legislation" is represented as a powerful older man with a long beard who holds a stylus in his right hand and is seated by a sphinx symbol of wisdom.
A young man holding a leading staff in his right hand while his left hand rests upon a great sword represents "Government"- the executive power.
"Liberty" is represented as a young woman wearing the traditional Phrygian cap of red, but is otherwise dressed in two shades of green, the color of youth and hope. Her right hand guards the ballot box while her left hand points upward.
“. . . art is not a luxury, it is a civilization.” Kenyon Cox, The Nation, 1889
The mosaics were done so well that I wasn't convinced they weren't painted at first. For more murals check out Monday Mural. More on the Capitol tomorrow!