Vincent Alfano was a well-known artist who produced work for the Capitol building during its construction. Alfano was both a painter and a sculptor. A native of Naples, Italy, he had studied at the Academy of Naples under famous painters Domenico Morelli and Giuseppe Palizzi. He later became a professor of art at that Academy.
Alfano emigrated to America in 1898, attracted largely by commissions from the growing American Renaissance movement, which enticed numerous Italian artists. Alfano took up residence in New York and taught at the New York Industrial Museum. In 1902 he was given his Capitol commission, which was to execute sculptural groups for the two entrance ways inside the building's main vestibule. The figures are allegorical representations located above the door pediments. The north group represents the early Commonwealth and its contact with Native Americans. The south group represents a Commonwealth enriched by arts and sciences. A theme of war and peace through which society has progressed are also espoused in both of the works.
From Joseph Huston's designs, Alfano also modeled the allegorical figures over the pediments at the second floor entrances to the House and Senate Chambers. The figures over the House represent "Truth" and "Justice," and those over the Senate "Legislature" and "Finance." The groups were inspired by Michelangelo's Medici Tombs for the New Sacristy in Florence, and similar motifs that were in the Paris Opera House. Alfano also carved the marble caryatids, globes, and cherubs located at the Entresol floor of the grand staircase, along with the sculpted plaster heads of famous Pennsylvanians present in the north and south hyphen corridors. In addition, the pediments over both the House and Senate Chamber's second floor entrances were produced by Alfano. The two large plaster Angels of Light gracing the newel posts of the grand staircase may also have been sculpted by Alfano, or possibly by a contemporary of his, Louis Milione of Philadelphia. Unfortunately, the original artist for these pieces remains unknown.