Horatio Greenough was commissioned by the US Congress to create a statue of George Washington for display at the U.S. Capitol. Greenough based "Enthroned Washington" on Phidias' statue of Zeus Olympios, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The statue is posed to symbolize Washington turning over power to the people at the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War.
few on Capitol Hill seemed ready for a half-naked father-of-the-country with well-developed and fully exposed shoulder muscles. His upraised right arm, draped with what appeared to be a towel across his biceps, gave the impression that he was preparing for a bath. Within weeks, incensed members of Congress demanded the work’s removal.After being mistreated for several years, the statue was eventually moved to its current home at the National Museum of American History. Via.