Once it sunk
in that was Paul Revere's silver work, directly as you enter
the American wing...thee Paul
Revere...the one that rode the midnight ride...it was
emotional, as were the paintings of Washington...Revere,
Washington, Jefferson...God's instruments of our freedom....
The paintings of George
Washington were particularly meaningful to me...One you could never forget
for it's size was titled the
"Passage of the Delaware" c1819 by Thomas Sully 1783–1872...which
depicted Washington on a white horse right before he dismounted to
cross the river and engage the British at Trenton New
Jersey. When I say British, they were actually German troops
hired by the British. The event took place on Christmas
Washington's crossing of the Delaware River, which occurred on December 25, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, was the first move in a surprise attack organized by George Washington against the Hessian forces in Trenton, New Jersey. Planned in partial secrecy, Washington led a column of Continental Army troops across the icy Delaware River in a logistically challenging and potentially dangerous operation.
work measured an
incredible 207 inches wide by 146 1/2
inches tall....Just think of the size of your average double
garage door plus add about five feet to the top. Actually
maybe this will give you a better idea...a 2011 Chevy Tahoe
SUV measures 79 inches wide...so you could drive two Chevy
Tahoes' thru the painting at the same time and still have
16.33 inches between and on each side of them. Please note the MFA may frown on that so please don't try it.
apologize I can not show you a photo of the painting. I took
numerous shots until I got just the right one with
a few people in front to illustrate it's behemoth
girth...then the MFA said no can use. Sully's work should not
to be confused with the more well known painting of the
subject "Washington's crossing of the Delaware River"
Leutze in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
That one shows Washington standing at the helm of a boat and
was done more than thirty years later than Sully's.
was a matching pair of two paintings of George and Martha
that were only partially finished by Gilbert Stuart 1755-1828.
recall, the little card next to the painting said Martha
didn't like the one of George....However the likeness must have been remarkable since Stuart ended up keeping
it and using it as his model for many more paintings of him
including our dollar bill. So from that I
would ascertain observing it is about as close as you'll ever get to
seeing George Washington in person!
was a painting of Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley which
was very life like and clear...How many people would recognize
the name Paul Revere? How many people would recognize Paul
Revere?...I never knew what he looked like till I saw that
painting....kind of like Tom Bosley, the actor who played
Richie's dad on Happy
Days...Hey I'm doing the best I can I have to improvise.
AMERICAN MASTER PAINTERS
couple great paintings I saw were...The Torn Hat by Thomas Sully 1783-1872
a young boy in a floppy hat...And Boys in a pasture by
Winslow Homer 1836-1930...Some of the other great
American painters represented were John Singer Sargent, Childe
Hassam, and William Merrit
Chase...in real time money....multi millions of dollars
worth of paintings. Another painting that stood out was
Boston Common at Twilight by Childe Hassam. It was of a street
in downtown Boston at sunset at the turn
of the century with snow on the ground. The scene was simple;
of a well to do lady
with two little girls. It didn't tell a
story it just expressed a peaceful mood and gave a glimpse of Boston
that period. Hassam added 1885-6 next to his signature so we
know it was painted around December and January those years;
an invaluable personalization. The description card said
Hassam felt artists should paint there own time and
surroundings. For the most part I think that argument has
much merit; it lends a genuine quality and makes a painting
more interesting. It
was neat they had a copy of a cabinet photos of Hassam next
to the description card so you could see what he looked
was a preliminary sketch for the water color painting "John Biglin in
Single Scull" by the Philadelphia painter Thomas Eakins.
Because of it's large size, and character I liked it practically
as much as a painting. It measured around 3 feet wide by 2
feet tall. The original water color is in the
Met in New York....and Yale University Art Gallery has a
copy Eakins made to send to a teacher in Paris. To the left
is a photo of Thomas Eakins...not Robert Downey
Jr....The Biglin Brothers John, James and Barney were renown
professional oarsman from New York City in the late 19th
century. Eakins did at least three rowing paintings with one
or more of the brothers. I addressed two other Eakins
painting in my 2007
National story which you can see
The description card misspelled Biglin as Biglen with an e.
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