Washington Crossing the Delaware at Christmas

One of the little things that Christmas reminds me of is the first time I saw Washington Crossing the Delaware at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art when I was in college back in the early 1990’s. (Why? Well, Washington crossed into Trenton on Christmas Eve).

Now, I’d seen pictures of it, sure. But nothing prepared me for turning a corner in the Met and being confronted by a 12 foot high by 21 foot long painting. I was awestruck. It was the first time that I actually realized that there was a difference between a picture of a painting and seeing the real thing, up close. I had seen real paintings before, and already thought that being able to discern the individual actual brush strokes on the canvas was pretty cool. It gave me an appreciation of the talent and craft that went into painting. But the impact that size can have on the senses was something I hadn’t thought of nor experienced until that moment.

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Ian Donnis
16 years ago

Good post, Marc. I’ve always loved that painting, and you’re spot-on about the powerful sense that it conveys.
Happy holidays to the AR crew!

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