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A Realistic Painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware



In 1851, Emanuel Leutze painted General Washington and his army crossing the freezing Delaware River on the night of December 25, 1776 on their way to successfully attack the Hessian mercenary garrison at Trenton, New Jersey. That painting became one of the great icons of American historical art.

It was not, however, an accurate depiction of the event. So artist Mort Kunstler completed detailed research on the actual crossing and cataloged the errors in Leutze's painting. Then he created the above painting, which he thinks best represents that frozen night's journey across the river.

News Story and Full Size Image -via Marginal Revolution

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@jimmyd Nice to see there's at least one sailor
here. Maybe it's to mimic the way GW is in the
original. I've seen the original many years ago
at the visitors center in Washington Crossing PA. Or was it Washington's Crossing PA? The two are on opposite sides of the Delaware River and I still mix them up. The torch seems rather superfluous since the raft is connected to a line, with two pulleys, that obviously ends on the NJ shore. If my memory is correct Leutze painted the type of barges used in his native Germany. Boats unlike ones used around Trenton during that time. All in all I grew up with the famous painting so it was a really nice experience to see the original.

@John Farrier I agree, it's a really good movie. Interesting article, thanks.
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Has anyone EVER *seen* reality? Plato seems to think not.

Crammer's comments were obviously about style, and not about accuracy. Yes, a little artsy-anal, but it made sense.

I always suspected that Dickens invented Christmas, but I never had any proof.
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I love it when these blow hards on Fox news bemoan the war on Christmas. To the founding fathers Christmas wasn't even a big deal

The reason Washington decided on Dec 25 was because he knew he was going up against Hessian mercs. Hessians were German and Christmas was a big deal to Germans. Christmas wasn't a big deal to the English speaking world back then. Washington knew the Hessians would all be drunk celebrating Christmas.

The reason Christmas caught on in the Anglo-sphere was because of Queen Vitoria who was of German descent. Charles Dickens also popularized Christmas
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