Washington Crossing The Delaware In Key West
Seeing this for the first time I was confused in why such a mural would be here. Closer inspection and comparing it to the original “George Washington Crossing The Delaware” which now hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, I think he did a good job. He wasn’t trying to duplicate Emanuel Leutze 1851 masterpiece. To start off with the flag is a combination of multi-colors and patterns, the boats occupants aren’t soldiers, and the water isn’t iced over. Not to even mention the bridge! Though I’ve never met or asked Rick, I think it’s leaning towards the quest of others to reach freedom in America.
Which leads me to this, “What’s wrong with the original painting?” I’m glad you asked 1) It was painted 75-yrs after the crossing by a German artist unfamiliar with the rivers width and surrounding landscape where it occurred. 2) Washington wouldn’t have been standing in a boat that small. 3) Holding the flag is future President James Monroe who was at the crossing but unlikely to have been in the same boat. 4) The flag itself is called the “Betsy Ross version” which wasn’t carried into battle. 5) At Washington’s knee is Prince Whipple who wasn’t proven to be at there at all. 6) He crossed at night with little light through the rain, sleet & snow on that cloudy night although it was a full moon. 7) The boat used was most likely a Durham boat which is twice that size. 8 ) The frozen river is depicted as icecaps rather than the sheets. 9) Horses are seen behind Washington which wouldn’t have been first to cross… remember, this was a sneak attack on Dec. 25th, 1776 with all emphasis being on QUIET! Regardless, Americans are still proud of “George Washington Crossing The Delaware” which remains one of our nations most treasured paintings. I’ve been to George Washington Crossing Park and stood where he landed, it’s a very narrow crossing that any adult male could throw a rock across.
You can find this rendition of George Washington at the corner of George & Washington Streets… OK, they’re really near the corner of Simonton Street & Virginia Street on the side of a building.
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