Leutze's ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’: The Iconic American Masterpiece

Emanuel Leutze’s iconic and masterful painting shows George Washington crossing the Delaware River on Christmas Night, 1776. The American cause seemed on the point of utter failure; they had lost New York, their morale was low, enlistments were about to expire, they didn’t have enough equipment (especially cold weather gear). General George Washington needed to pull off a miracle—and he did just that. Washington (with the crucial help of the Massachusetts Marbleheaders) managed to get his army across the ice-filled, freezing Delaware River and pull off a surprise attack on the (British-hired) Hessian garrison at Trenton on December 26. And contrary to popular belief, the Hessians were notdrunk, easy targets.

In some ways, God clearly intervened on the American side to ensure all kinds of variables would come together; but it was also a stroke of genius on Washington’s part. There was further immense heroism from many patriot soldiers, including James Monroe (pictured in the painting) and Alexander Hamilton. Leutze, a German immigrant to America, painted a great masterpiece of art, showing Washington and his soldiers—soldiers of all ethnic and economic backgrounds—in a heroic pose on their way to what proved to be the saving grace of the American cause for liberty and independence.

By combining an image of heroic greatness with ethnic and economic diversity, and personal daring and perseverance against all odds to achieve the goal of independence, Leutze created the iconic American masterpiece.

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Posted by CatSalgado32

Catherine Salgado is a columnist for The Rogue Review, a Writer for MRC Free Speech America, and writes her own Substack, Pro Deo et Libertate. She received the Andrew Breitbart MVP award for August 2021 from The Rogue Review for her journalism.

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