This section is from the book "The National Capitol. Its Architecture Art And History", by George C. Hazelton, Jr. Also available from Amazon: The National Capitol Its Architecture Art and History.
The glass ceiling of this chamber is adorned with symbolisms of War, Peace, Union and Progress, and of the arts, sciences and industries. The panels are buff-colored, and the walls themselves decorated with gold arabesques on delicate tints. The portrait of George Washington by R. Peale of New York was originally purchased for the Senate Chamber, according to the resolution of July 2, 1832, as reported by Mr. Frelinghuy-sen. The taste of the modern Senate, however, excludes all such decorations ; for on the 15th of February, 1884, upon the motion of Mr. Cockrell, it was unanimously resolved " that no paintings or portraits be placed upon the walls of the Senate Chamber." The set of marble busts of the ex-Vice-Presidents, authorized on May 13, 1886, in amending a resolution introduced by Mr. Ingalls of Kansas, to be placed from time to time in the vacant niches of the Senate wing by the Architect of the Capitol, subject to the advice and approval of the Senate Committee on the Library, is still incomplete.