Church in the Capitol depicts Thomas Jefferson on horseback, traveling from the White House to the U.S. Capitol to attend Sunday Church services. President Jefferson had ordered Federal buildings opened for use by churches on Sunday mornings. The Marine Corps band is shown as they also participated in the services. This original painting was commissioned by Timothy Plan and Liberty Counsel and presented to the modern Church in the Capitol that restarted services in 2014. The original services were held from 1800 to 1870.
The painting includes many historically accurate features. Research was supported by conversations and interviews with David Barton, the Architect of the Capitol, and Bill Federer. For example, President Jefferson is shown riding a bay horse, his favorite. Also, in the upper left corner, a mockingbird is depicted representing one of Jefferson’s many pets. His favorite was named “Dick." There is also a Briard dog, representing the breed Jefferson imported to work at Monticello with his sheep. Also shown (to the left of the Capitol building) is “the Oven,” a brick structure that served as a temporary chamber for the House of Representatives during Jefferson’s Presidency. The Jefferson Coat of Arms is depicted on his saddlebag as well as a red book of Common Prayer and one of his coaches.