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Publié : 23 octobre 2013
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Washington Crossing the Delaware


  Washington Crossing the Delaware is a painting by Emanuel Leutze, who was German, but moved to America as a child, before returning to Germany to study art.


This painting is currently on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It was made in 1851, so over seventy years after the end of the independence war. This drawing commemorates an episode of the independence war during the battle of Trenton in December 1776.

Portrait of Emanuel Leutze




The painter has mainly used dark colours. We can see twelve persons on a boat but we can think there are in fact thirteen people who represent the thirteen colonies. We can recognize Washinghton himself in the middle of the picture. He is standing up and he is the leader of the group. The light that illuminates his face attracts our eyes on him. The other people are rowing. There is only one woman on this boat and she is disguised as a man. There is also James Monroe, next to Washington, who will be the president of United States of America from 1817 to 1825. He carries the American flag in his hands, but the flag which is show didn’t exist yet at that time, so this constitutes an anachronism. But this inaccurate detail is secundary, as the painter’s main intention is to capture the spirit of the American Revolution.

Washington crossing the Delaware

Notes  :

- There were two versions of the painting. The first was burnt but it was restored. The second version was destroyed during a bombing of the Second World War. Finally an another painting was made, identical to the original one.

- The 25 cent coin of the State of New Jersey is engraved with a reproduction of this painting.

New Jersey 25 cent coin