The Truth Behind He Who Never Lied

Brianna Carroll, Saniya Gayake, Amber Liao, Umaymah Sultana

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George Washington Crossing the Delaware

Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, 1851

Artist Bio

The artwork, "Washington Crossing the Delaware" was created by the artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze. Leutze, was born on May 24th, 1816 and he came from a German American descent. He is known for painting art based on occurrences in history. He was brought to the United States when he was a child, and returned to Germany to study at the academy in Dusseldorf. He spent his days in Germany painting U.S history scenes. His most famous work is "Washington Crossing the Delaware", which brought a lot of American patriotism. Later, Leutze returned to the U.S to decorate a stairway in Washington D.C. He passed away on July 16th, 1868, in Washington D.C.

Art Critique

In the painting, "Washington Crossing the Delaware", by Emanuel Leutze the focus is on General Washington as he leads his soldiers in their boat with courage and spirit across the Delaware river during the American revolution. The visual structuring of the painting is so that there is also an emphasis on the soldiers and the American flag in the center of the painting. The foreground of this are is the icy Delaware River and the glorious sky with sun peeking out. the colors used for the boat and the soldiers are bright and nationalistic with blues, whites, and reds. These hues are patriotic. there is a drastic contrast between the foreground and the background. the colors used for the sky and river are much more neutral and balance to showcase the nature. The style in this painting is realism because you can see the detail in their uniforms and the cracks in the ice. George Washington's stance represents his valor and leadership and symbolizes the patriotic feeling the painting is giving off.

Story Truth

In this painting, Washington and his men, while crossing the Delaware River, are portrayed as valiant and determined. Washington led his troops across the Delaware with the intent of attacking the British. The image of Washington standing on the boat with the sun shining down on him is symbolic of his great leadership and his strong determination. As portrayed in the painting, Washington and his troops seemingly crossed the Delaware River with ease due to their unyielding determination. The flag flying in the air symbolizes the troops' pride in their union, and provides a reason for this determination. Overall, this painting puts out a sense of valiance and determination to achieve something great for the sake of the people.

Happening Truth

Despite the beauty of this piece of art, many of the components that attribute to this beauty are actually falsified. To begin with, the sun, which shines so brightly on Washington and his troops, should not have been there in the first place, as this attack occurred on the night of December 25th, and not during the day as the painting depicts. Not to mention, the flag in this painting was not actually adopted until much later. Furthermore, it is not wise, nor is it an easy task, to stand on the tip of the boat as it is sailing through the waves. Not only that, but during this event, the water was icy and the waves were treacherous, making it impossible for Washington to be able to stand up like that. Many of Washington's men also ended up marching through the snow. The combination of rain, snow, and sleet made this overall event unpleasant, contrary to what is portrayed in the painting.

War Story

The year is 1851. The air is chilly, and there is an ominous shadow surrounding America. George Washington is getting his men ready with powerful words and oratorical encouragement. “We are Americans! The British are below our high levels of patriotism and courage. We are the noble men that will bring the liberty that we deserve!” exclaims George Washington. His men holler back in excitement and agreement.

They get into their massive, well-constructed boats filled with war artillery. They straighten their uniforms and prepare to get into action. They push off the shore of the River that causes a gush of wind. They sail gloriously across the Delaware River with George Washington leading valiantly. The harsh weather conditions biting at their skin were no match against their determination and perseverance. They looked to their beloved American Flag, which gave them never ending hope.

After hours of endless sailing, they realize they have successfully crossed the glorious Delaware River. Every soldier is filled with blooming pride. The battle has just begun.