J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2022

A Rare Opportunity to Own a Famous Painting

On 12 May, you’ll have the opportunity to buy Washington Crossing the Delaware as painted by Emanuel Leutze through the Christie’s auction house.

Of course, the picture could cost north of $15 million.

Leutze made three versions of his most famous painting, virtually identical images but at different sizes.

The earliest, created in 1849, hung in a German museum until it was destroyed during World War II, according to a précis on the Smithsonian Magazine website.

Leutze also painted a monumental version twenty-one feet wide, and that’s now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Around the same time he created a six-foot-wide version, sending it to an American art dealer and engraving publisher. That’s the canvas on sale this month.

In 1973 an anonymous collector bought that painting for $260,000 and loaned it to the White House for display through the Bicentennial. In 2014 Mary Burrichter and Bob Kierlin, a hardware-store magnate, bought the painting for an unknown sum and hung it at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, which they founded.

And now it can be yours.

1 comment:

Byron DeLear said...

Wow --- you know John, I always see the incorrect flag in this painting.