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Scroll-Painted Ceiling and Diana and Her Handmaidens

This photograph is a detail shot of the ceiling in Decatur House and part of the painting Diana and Her Handmaidens taken by Bruce White for the White House Historical Association on September 2, 2015. Diana and Her Handmaidens was painted ca. 1800 by an unknown painter in the school of Jacques-Louis David. Completed in 1818, Decatur House was the third building on Lafayette Square and its first private residence. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the architect of the Capitol and several other famous buildings, for Commodore Stephen Decatur and his wife, Susan. Tragically, in 1820 Stephen Decatur was mortally wounded during a duel, and his widow Susan Decatur subsequently rented out the house to foreign ministers and several secretaries of state. The house was eventually sold and passed through several hands, including the Gadsby family, the U.S. Subsistence Bureau, and the Beale family. Marie Ogle Beale, a society maven and the last owner left the house to National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. In 2010, the White House Historical Association and National Trust entered into co-stewardship arrangement and the house now serves as the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History.
Bruce White
Date of Work
September 2, 2015
White House Historical Association