Commerce, Federal Building

Daniel Chester French

French had a talent for large monumental sculpture, his most famous work being the figure of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. Here these two free-standing works occupy the corners of the Federal Building, and add to its sense of civic importance.

Jurisprudence, Federal Building

Daniel Chester French

Both Commerce and Jurisprudence are allegorical works with female figures personifying the named activities. Here Jurisprudence holds the tables of the law, labelled in Latin--Lex whereas Commerce above holds a globe, representing international economic activity.

The base

Both figures are on tall bases (almost 12 feet high) with classical allusions--the Roman fasces and the double axe. French used the fasces on the chair Lincoln sits in at the Lincoln Memorial, there no doubt also representing power, authority, and jurisprudence.

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© 2005 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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