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Emanuel Leutze
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    (May 24, 1816-July 18, 1868)
    Born in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Württemberg, Germany
    German-American historical painter
    Best-known for ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’ (1851)
    Other paintings include ‘Columbus Before theQueen (1843), ‘Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth’ (1854), and ‘Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way’ (1860)
    He had only one year of formal instruction in art due to his anti-academic attitude.
    Although ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’ became a symbol of American patriotism, it was intended to inspire German liberals after their defeat in the Revolution of 1848.
    ’Washington Crossing the Delaware’ features the Continental soldiers flying the ‘Stars and Stripes,’ which would not be adopted as the American flag until six months later.
    His original version of ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’ was destroyed by an Allied bombing raid on Bremen (September 5, 1942).
    His family came to America to escape religious persecution (1825).
    In his teens after his father died, he supported himself by selling portraits for $5 each.
    His painting ‘Columbus in Chains’ won the gold medal at the Brussels Art Exhibit (1842).
    ’Washington Crossing the Delaware’ is one of the most iconic and frequently copied images of an American historical event.

Credit: C. Fishel

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