Edwin Howland Blashfield

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Edwin Howland Blashfield (1848–1936) was an American painter and muralist. He was most known for painting the murals on the dome of the Library of Congress Main Reading Room in Washington, DC. Edwin Howland Blashfield was born in Brooklyn in 1848 to William H. Blashfield and Eliza Dodd.

He studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts after initial coursework in engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He moved to Europe in 1867 to study with Léon Joseph Florentin Bonnat in Paris and remained abroad until 1881, traveling, painting, and exhibiting his work in salon shows. His academic background in painting and extensive travels in Italy to study fresco painting melded in work marked by delicacy and beauty of coloring. Following his early success as a genre painter. Blashfield became a widely admired muralist whose work ornamented the dome of the Manufacturers’ and Liberal Arts building at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, in Chicago, several state capitols, and the central dome of the Library of Congress.