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Rare painting ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’ hanging in the White House will be auctioned


The famous painting ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’, which hung in the White House from 1970 to 2014, will go up for auction next month, when it is estimated to fetch around $20 million.

The 1851 oil painting is one of three versions painted by Emanuel Leutze of the man who was the first US president to lead the army during a pivotal moment in the American revolution. Only two people survived.

American art expert Paige Kestenman at Christie’s New York said the first version was destroyed in an air raid during WWII in Germany.

“The second is the monumental building that is at the heart of the Metropolitan’s American Wing Museum of Art, and the third is this building right here,” says Kestenman.

The version at New York’s Met measures 12.4 feet by 21.25 feet.

The famous painting 'Washington Crossing the Delaware', which hung in the White House from 1970 to 2014, will go up for auction next month, when it is estimated to fetch around $20 million.

The famous painting 'Washington Crossing the Delaware', which hung in the White House from 1970 to 2014, will go up for auction next month, when it is estimated to fetch around $20 million.

The famous painting ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’, which hung in the White House from 1970 to 2014, will go up for auction next month, when it is estimated to fetch around $20 million.

The 1851 oil painting is one of three versions painted by Emanuel Leutze of the man who was the first US president to lead the army during a pivotal moment in the American revolution.  Only two people survived

The 1851 oil painting is one of three versions painted by Emanuel Leutze of the man who was the first US president to lead the army during a pivotal moment in the American revolution.  Only two people survived

The 1851 oil painting is one of three versions painted by Emanuel Leutze of the man who was the first US president to lead the army during a pivotal moment in the American revolution. Only two people survived

The first version was destroyed in an air raid during WWII in Germany, says American art expert Paige Kestenman at Christie's New York

The first version was destroyed in an air raid during WWII in Germany, says American art expert Paige Kestenman at Christie's New York

The first version was destroyed in an air raid during WWII in Germany, says American art expert Paige Kestenman at Christie’s New York

The painting for sale on May 12 is smaller – about 3 feet by 6 feet. It has been hanging for decades in the White House, mostly in the reception room of the West Wing.

The work depicts George Washington leading soldiers across the Delaware River to surprise infantry hiding on the other side on Christmas Eve 1776, Kestenman said.

“A German-American immigrant, Leutze was also a staunch abolitionist and in ‘Washington Crossing Delaware’ he purposefully included a series of characters that created disintegration,” said Kestenman. flows that form the nation of America,” Kestenman said.

She pointed out one Black soldier, another in a Scottish cap, moccasins, and deerskin clothing that hinted at the American West and Native Americans.

This rendition of the famous moment takes place every year and draws crowds to the banks of the Washington River in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

In 2021, this rendition celebrates its 241st anniversary.



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