Edwin Austin Abbey, Passage of the Hours
Abbey’s “Passage of the Hours” is displayed on the House chamber ceiling. This circular mural represents the passage of the hours, symbolized by 24 maidens against a dark blue background depicting the sun, moon, stars and the Milky Way galaxy. The maidens are arranged around the edge of the canvas designating each hour of a clock, and the sequence “rotates” from day to night. The dancing figures become increasingly still and shrouded until finally the maiden, Dawn, throws off her long deep blue cape and the cycle begins anew.
This is a huge (no, really) ceiling painting at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building that you can stare at for hours, or at least as long as your neck doesn’t get sore. Abbey was paid $50 per square foot for his murals at the Capitol, which are all gorgeous.