Mort Kunstler unveiled his newest painting last night at the New York Historical Society. It depicts Washington’s crossing of the Delaware in a much grittier, more realistic fashion than Leutze’s classic canvas in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can get a look at the painting by clicking here.
I love it. It’s aesthetically pleasing, but it doesn’t sanitize the harsh reality of the soldiers’ situation—these guys are cold and wet. The painting also conveys Washington’s heroic stature without sacrificing the credible naturalism that Leutze tossed out the window. If you ask me, Kunstler’s depiction does more credit to the bravery and determination it took to launch the attack on Trenton, because it shows us ordinary men overcoming miserable conditions.
Now, when do we get to buy prints?