Contemplative Spirit of the East

Kenyon Cox




East Grand Staircase

Date Completed

Date Placed

Description from the artist

The intention is to symbolize the East as the land of contemplation and stability as contrasted with the progress and activity of the West. The composition therefore made as grave and formal as possible. Enthroned in the centre, with brooding wings, sits Contemplation, draped and hooded in deep blue. She is lost in thought and stares into space with unseeing eyes. On either side sit Letters and Law, both of Eastern origin. Letters is laurel crowned and reads from a great book. Law bears the scepter of power and the bridle of control.

The composition as a whole is meant to form a fitting introduction to the decorations of the Supreme Court, which depict the development of Law.