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Arts by Dylan: Washington Crossing the Delaware Canvas

Arts by Dylan: Washington Crossing the Delaware Canvas

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Artist: Emanual Leutze; 1850.

This is a public domain image I have slightly cropped and edited in photoshop to my own liking. 

The painter grew up in America but the painting was done in 1850 in Germany.  Around the time of the California Gold Rush and the Mexican American War there was a wave of revolutionary spirit all through Europe. 

France began their revolution to a Second Republic a couple weeks after Gold was discovered in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. 

On Janurary 9th of 1848 as the USA was negotiating the end to the Mexican American war the first of the Eruopean Revolutions began in Sicily and then other parts of Italy eventually forming the creation of the modern day unified state of Italy. 

Other reforms to monarchial rule occured in Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands which were peaceful.

In Prussia and Austria the revolutions and call for constitutions and democracy were defeated and would have to wait for another day in history. 

This painting was intended to help spark the American story of liberty and independence into the hearts and minds of the European public and spark revolution. A year after the original was painted it was damaged in a fire and immidiatly restored and moved into private collection.  On September 5 1942 the original painting was destroyed during a bombing raid by Allied forces. 

However, the artist painted a copy soon afterward which was displayed in New York in the 1850's and then purchased for a sum of $10,000 which would be about $350,000 in today's money.  That copy was sold several times among NYC millionaires in the late 19th century before eventually being donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by John Stewart Kennedy in 1897.  

It has been on display at that Museum ever since and has only traveled a couple times over the last 100 years. 

The companion piece of Washington rallying troops is on display at the Doe Library at the University of California at Berkeley. 

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