Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze

De Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre
Ir a la navegación Ir a la búsqueda
Emanuel Leutze
Emanuel Leutze-crop.jpg
Información personal
Nacimiento 24 de mayo de 1816 Ver y modificar los datos en Wikidata
Schwäbisch Gmünd (Wurtemberg, Alemania) Ver y modificar los datos en Wikidata
Fallecimiento 18 de julio de 1868 Ver y modificar los datos en Wikidata (52 años)
Washington D. C. (Estados Unidos) Ver y modificar los datos en Wikidata
Causa de la muerte Infarto de miocardio Ver y modificar los datos en Wikidata
Lugar de sepultura Glenwood Cemetery (Estados Unidos) Ver y modificar los datos en Wikidata
Nacionalidad Alemana y estadounidense Ver y modificar los datos en Wikidata
Educado en
Información profesional
Ocupación Pintor y artista Ver y modificar los datos en Wikidata
Género Pintura de historia Ver y modificar los datos en Wikidata
Obras notables

Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (24 de mayo de 1816 - 18 de julio de 1868) fue un pintor de historia americano-alemán más conocido por su pintura Washington cruzando el Delaware. Es asociado con la escuela pictórica de Düsseldorf.



Leutze nació en Schwäbisch Gmünd, Wurtemberg, Alemania, y fue llevado a Estados Unidos cuando era un niño.[1]​Sus padres se establecieron primero en Fredericksburg, Virginia, y luego en Filadelfia. Su educación temprana fue buena, pero no fue especialmente dirigida al arte. El primer desarrollo de su talento artístico ocurrió cuando atendía en su cama a su padre enfermo, cuando intentó dibujar para ocupar las largas horas de espera.[2]​ Su padre murió en 1831.[3]​ A los 14, pintaba retratos a 5 dólares cada uno. Con este trabajo se mantuvo después de la muerte de su padre.[4]​ En 1834, recibió su primera instrucción de arte en clases con John Rubens Smith,[5]​ un retratista en Filadelfia. Pronto se volvió hábil y organizó un plan para publicar, en Washington, retratos de hombres de estado americanos eminentes; sin embargo, se encontró con poco apoyo.[2]


In 1840, one of his paintings attracted attention and procured him several orders, which enabled him to go to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he studied with Lessing. In 1842 he went to Munich, studying the works of Cornelius and Kaulbach, and, while there, finished his Columbus before the Queen. The following year he visited Venice and Rome, making studies from Titian and Michelangelo. His first work, Columbus before the Council of Salamanca was purchased by the Düsseldorf Art Union. A companion picture, Columbus in Chains, procured him the gold medal of the Brussels Art Exhibition, and was subsequently purchased by the Art Union in New York; it was the basis of the 1893 $2 Columbian stamp. In 1845, after a tour in Italy, he returned to Düsseldorf, marrying Juliane Lottner[3]​ and making his home there for 14 years.[2]

During his years in Düsseldorf, he was a resource for visiting Americans: he found them places to live and work, provided introductions, and emotional and even financial support.[3]​ For many years, he was the president of the Düsseldorf Artists' Association; in 1848, he was an early promoter of the “Malkasten” art association; and in 1857, he led the call for a gathering of artists which led to the founding of the Allgemeine deutsche Kunstgenossenschaft.[4]

A strong supporter of Europe's Revolutions of 1848, Leutze decided to paint an image that would encourage Europe's liberal reformers with the example of the American Revolution. Using American tourists and art students as models and assistants, Leutze finished Washington Crossing the Delaware in 1850. It is owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 1854, Leutze finished his depiction of the Battle of Monmouth, "Washington rallying the troops at Monmouth," commissioned by an important Leutze patron, banker David Leavitt of New York City and Great Barrington, Massachusetts.[6]

La ciudad de Nueva York y Washington, D.C.[editar]

In 1859, Leutze returned to the United States and opened a studio in New York City.[2]​ He divided his time between New York City and Washington, D.C.[7]​ In 1859, he painted a portrait of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney which hangs in the Harvard Law School. In a 1992 opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia described the portrait of Taney, made two years after Taney's infamous decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, as showing Taney "in black, sitting in a shadowed red armchair, left hand resting upon a pad of paper in his lap, right hand hanging limply, almost lifelessly, beside the inner arm of the chair. He sits facing the viewer and staring straight out. There seems to be on his face, and in his deep-set eyes, an expression of profound sadness and disillusionment."

Leutze also executed other portraits, including one of fellow painter William Morris Hunt. That portrait was owned by Hunt's brother Leavitt Hunt, a New York attorney and sometime Vermont resident, and was shown at an exhibition devoted to William Morris Hunt's work at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1878.[8]

In 1860 Leutze was commissioned by the U.S. Congress to decorate a stairway in the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, for which he painted a large composition, Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way, which is also commonly known as Westward Ho!.

Late in life, he became a member of the National Academy of Design. He was also a member of the Union League Club of New York, which has a number of his paintings. He died in Washington, D.C., in his 52nd year, of heatstroke. He was interred at Glenwood Cemetery.[9]​ At the time of his death, a painting, The Emancipation of the Slaves, was in preparation.[5]

Leutze's portraits are known less for their artistic quality than for their patriotic emotionalism. Washington Crossing the Delaware firmly ranks among the American national iconography, and is thus often caricatured.


  1. Marter, Joan M. (2011). The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art. Oxford University Press. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-19-533579-8. 
  2. a b c d Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1892). "Leutze, Emanuel". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
  3. a b c Witthoft, Brucia (1982). American Artists in Düsseldorf: 1840–1865 (en inglés). Framingham, Massachusetts: Danforth Museum. p. 14, 32. 
  4. a b Moritz Blanckarts (1883), "Leutze, Emanuel", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German) 18, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 500–502
  5. a b Groseclose, Barbara (1999). "Leutze, Emanuel Gottlieb". American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press.
  6. "Washington at Monmouth," American Heritage Magazine, June 1965, AmericanHeritage.com
  7. Downes, William Howe (1933). "Leutze, Emanuel". Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
  8. Exhibición de Trabajos de William Morris Hunt, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, John C.Dalton, Alfres Mudge & Son, Boston, 1879
  9. Heiderstadt, Dorothy (1970). Painters of America. Nueva York: D. McKay Co. p. 88. 


  • Wierich, Jochen. Grand Themes: Emanuel Leutze, "Washington Crossing the Delaware," and American History Painting (Penn State University Press; 2012) 240 pages; Discute que la pintura fue una piedra de toque para debates sobre pintura histórica en tiempos de intensa secesión.
  • Hutton, Anne Hawkes (1975). Portrait of Patriotism: Washington Crossing the Delaware. Radnor, Pennsylvania: Chilton Book Company. ISBN 0-8019-6418-0.

Enlaces externos[editar]