This elaborately illustrated color lithograph features a decorated portrait of George Washington, below which unfolds the panorama of Washington, D.C. in 28 small pictorial vignettes, a view of the Capitol building with Thomas Crawford's sculpture "Freedom" atop the dome and 3 color vignettes at the foot that include Lady Liberty with two decidedly American putti, a drawing of the Washington Monument and a scene of George Washington crossing the Delaware River. Charles Magnus & Co. first published this patriotic work at the outset of the U.S. Civil War to celebrate the history of the founding of the United States by George Washington and the flourishing of the nation's capital. This version of the Panorama of Washington, with "Freedom" atop the Capitol dome (placed there in 1863), is version II of this Magnus work. The "Freedom" statue has its own colored vignette in this lithograph.
The Panorama of Washington is here displayed unfolded and as such it gives the appearance, likely intended, of a fine broadside. The color portrait of George Washing is accompanied by the phrase "First in War, First in Peace and first in the hearts of his Countrymen". The Magnus firm is known for its civil war graphics lithographed on envelopes and letter sheets in complex compositions more typically found as individual prints. Strong colors including metallic inks are a feature of Charles Magnus works. The Panorama of Washington is part of the series of panoramas of American cities published by Charles Magnus & Co. that included a Panorama of the Mississippi Valley, a Panorama of the Seat of War and others. The Magnus firm also published maps often with decorative, gold lithograph borders such as the Map of Newark, New Jersey.
By far, the Panorama of Washington exemplifies Magnus' premier patriotic panorama and accordingly is sought after. Found in private and institutional collections.