Washington Crossing the Delaware

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Dr. Reza Kibria ::

Editor’s Choice: A Selection of Important Works of Art

This section introduces readers to a selection of great works of art, primarily paintings of the Western World. The works chosen include some personal favourites, others which are well-known or influential in some way and yet others representative of a particular school of art. The impact of a work of art is of course many times greater when the original is seen. If possible readers should try to visit the galleries and museums housing these priceless treasures

“Washington Crossing the Delaware”, Emanuel Leutze, 1851, oil on canvas, 379x648cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ney York

Emaneul Leutze (1816-1868) was a German-American painter who painted historical scenes. The original version (1842) was destroyed in the bombing of Bremen in 1942. This huge painting (more than twelve feet tall and twenty-one feet wide) of General George Washington crossing the Delaware River to attack the Hessian forces in Trenton often adorns the covers of textbooks of United States history. It is regarded as an important painting not primarily for its artistic quality, but for the patriotic emotions it arouses, an example of how art can be used most effectively in the creation of a heroic mythology.