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George Washington Crossing the Delaware
Composition is the arrangement of different elements in a work of art. Let's look at a painting in which the artist used light, color, form, perspective, proportion, and motion to create the composition.

This painting describes the historic moment when General George Washington led the American revolutionary troops across the Delaware River in order to surprise the English and Hessian troops in the Battle of Trenton the day after Christmas in 1776. Keep in mind that this reproduction is small: the original painting is more than 12 feet high and 21 feet long! Click on the image to see a larger reproduction. The artist Emanuel Leutze used a number of elements to express an emotional and patriotic message about this event.

Choose an element below to find out more.

Perspective Light Color Form Motion Proportion

Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, American, 1816-1868
George Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851
Oil on Canvas; 12 2/5 x 21 1/4 in. (378.5 x 647.7 cm)
Gift of John S. Kennedy, 1897 (97.34)

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