November 29, 2022

Thiago Lontra

Art News Collection

Iconic ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’ Painting That Hung in the White House Heads to Auction

Iconic ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’ Painting That Hung in the White House Heads to Auction
EMANUEL LEUTZE (1816-1868) Washington Crossing the Delaware signed ‘E. Leutze’ (lower suitable) oil on canvas 40 x 68 in. (101.6 x 172.7 cm.) Painted in 1851. $15,000,000-20,000,000

Christie’s has declared that Emanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware (estimate: $15 million – 20 million), a painting of “transcendent historical affect,” will be a highlight of the 20th Century Night Sale having area live on May perhaps 12, 2022 at Rockefeller Center. The portray hung for a long time in the White House and is a person of two extant variations by Leutze. The other [larger] edition is the centerpiece of the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Leutze’s effective imagining of a critical instant in American record has been a cultural phenomenon from the moment it was noticed and has been reproduced extra than just about any portray in American record. This photo, which defined its era and has had a profound and long lasting affect on art heritage and common tradition, will just take its area in Christie’s New York saleroom throughout the 20/21 Marquee Sale 7 days together with other definitive visuals of contemporary historical past, which include Claude Monet’s Parlement, Soleil Couchant, Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, and Mark Rothko’s Untitled (Shades of Purple).


Tylee Abbott, Head of Section, American Artwork, reported: Emanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware is arguably the most important operate of pre-War American Art to ever arrive to the sector, and certainly set the report for any American portray at auction when sold in the 1970s.”

According to Barron’s, the portray bought privately to the founders of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in 2014. The museum opened in 2006 featuring the selection of Mary Burrichter and her husband, Bob Kierlin, a former Minnesota state senator and components tycoon. 

Abbott provides, “Depicting a extraordinary minute at the starting of our state, this iconic picture serves as the origin of the archetype of an American hero that has turn into imbedded in our collective imagination and firmly destinations this function as a person of the most well known photographs in art historical past.”

This iconic portray has been published numerous periods in textbooks and article content, observed on U.S. postal stamps, and on the New Jersey point out quarter, and is ubiquitous in well known society. It is the generation of the artist Emanuel Leutze (1816-1868), an immigrant from Germany, who grew up in Philadelphia, returned to Europe as an aspiring painter, and then finished his profession in the United States, exactly where he acquired fame and was a close friend and mentor to numerous notable American painters.

Leutze and studio assistants, including Eastman Johnson, produced a few identified variations of this composition. The first was in the Kunsthalle Bremen, in Germany, and was ruined in a Planet War II air raid. The second forms the centerpiece of the American Wing of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York. The third is the present perform. It is almost similar in composition to the Metropolitan’s model, and was greatly exhibited in its personal proper. The present model was painted by Leutze with Johnson’s aid and was also reproduced as an engraving that was widely disseminated and brought this composition international fame.

The image getting presented by Christie’s was commissioned by the unique purchaser of the Metropolitan’s portray, the artwork dealers Goupil, Vibert & Co. They needed a lesser variation that could be additional conveniently reproduced by the engraver, Paul Girardet, as a print.  This portray was also exhibited in its working day at major venues in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. Many thanks to the engraving, in just quick purchase the graphic was just about everywhere. “Every city and village alongside that huge stretch of double river-frontage had a very best dwelling,” wrote Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi, 1883. “Over center of mantel, engraving—Washington Crossing the Delaware on the wall by the doorway, duplicate of it done in thunder-and-lightning crewels by one of the youthful females …”

The existing version has had a notable modern day exhibition history, from numerous shows at The Metropolitan, to the Smithsonian Establishments in Washington, D.C. and even in Düsseldorf. It hung in The White Residence from the 1970s, in the Nixon and Carter Administrations, through President Obama’s tenure, when it hung in the West Wing foyer. When the portray was set up on prolonged-phrase mortgage in 1979, the curator Clement Conger remarked that this get the job done was among “the most significant American paintings at any time to dangle in the White Dwelling.”