Skip to comments.Crossing the Delaware, More Accurately
Posted on 12/25/2011 3:37:26 PM PST by Theoria
There are few images as enduring in American history as the one of General George Washington standing tall, next to the Stars and Stripes, in a rowboat gliding past mini-icebergs as he leads his troops across the Delaware River on Christmas Day 1776 to start a surprise attack on Hessian forces during the Battle of Trenton.
In his 1851 portrait, Washington Crossing the Delaware, among the best-known of American paintings, the artist, Emanuel Leutze, did not shy away from imbuing the scene with a dose of glory, inspiration and heroism.
He also did not let the facts get in the way of his masterpiece the original hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The only thing wrong with this historical image is the history part, said Mort Künstler, as he recently put the finishing touches on his own version of Washingtons crossing. As it rested on an easel in Mr. Künstlers studio on Long Island, the painting looked nothing like the Leutze version.
Im not knocking the original: its got great impact and Leutze did a heck of a job, Mr. Künstler said. I give Leutze higher marks for a good painting than for historical accuracy, but why cant you have both?
Mr. Künstler, who has gained some renown for painstakingly researched paintings that strive for accuracy, invested two months of research for the new painting, which is set to be unveiled at the New-York Historical Society in Manhattan on Monday, the date in 1776 that Washington led his troops into battle in Trenton after crossing the Delaware.
And so, instead of the small, somewhat tipsy rowboat in Leutzes painting, Mr. Künstler depicts a 60-foot-long flatboat ferry, guided by cable, and crowded with dozens of troops, and cannons and horses.
(Excerpt) Read more at cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com ...
he caught the tail end of the Maunder minimum....
if the sun doesn't perk up next cycle....we in for another one...
As for me, I care not what or how the appearance of George Washington's feats are portrayed, his record belongs to the ages as the keystone of American Independence. FIRST as a general who broke the will of the world's mightiest empire, an empire that would break Napoleon within a generation. THEN as a THREE time President, first for the Constitutional Convention and then 2 terms as the On-Job-Training President!
Finally, he retired when all about him wanted him to continue, fearing a failure in continuity after a mere 8 years. No President ever retired with a greater reputation or popularity both domestic and foreign. Even the English King gave him credit for being America's Cincinnatus, the man who was all powerful yet gave back that power that then strengthened his country!
George Washington, America's truly INDISPENSABLE HERO (with all due and deserved respect to Lincoln)!
Dunham boats were used that night, not ferry boats. They were shallow draft wikth low gunwales, great for coal, lumber, any such truck but people. Leutz was accurate . . . except for GW standing. Too unstable a craft. Those burgs courtesy of early winter of central NY where Delaware begins at Cooperstown.
I think you might be reading a bit much into this painting...
Beck’s book on Washington referred to two types of watercraft used that night.
Uh,who was George Washington?
There are people who don’t know who he was.
Google General Bray and you will find the details of the boats. One of the greatest feats in navel histoir.
I like the original famous painting of the event, and I like this latest rendition. They’re both good.
I live ten minutes from Washington Crosssing and it is always fun to take the family up to the river for the reenactment. Those guys take it seriously.
On consideration, you may be right but in my own defense I am becoming more sensitized to George Washington and his place in history and I have been feeling it far longer than Glenn Beck has been writing. That statement from the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave on "60 Minutes" about ranking his administration 4th in domestic and foreign achievements, and mentions Lincoln but not Washington is a symptom. Yes, the White House spun it as 'modern presidents' and yes Obama reflects Illinois by including Lincoln - but still!
So pardon my screed but I remain firm, we have had great Presidents and lousy Presidents (guess who) but Washington remains "Primus inter pares" - "First amongst equals!"
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