Submitted By MARSUE311
Words: 826
Pages: 4

Emanuel Leutze was a German American artist who was best known for his historical art pieces. He was born on May 24, 1816, in Gmünd, Germany. He died on July 18, 1868; in Washington, D.C. Leutze was brought to America with his parents as a child. In 1841, he went back to Germany to begin his formal art training at the Academy in Düsseldorf. He stayed in Europe for 18 years painting many historical American scenes. Eventually, he came back to America in 1859. When he arrived back to America he was commissioned to begin a new piece in the United States Capitol. Emanuel Leutze has painted many art pieces. Some of the most famous pieces include Washington Crossing the Delaware, Washington Rallying the Troops at Monmouth, The Storming of Teocalli, and Westward the Course of Empire takes it Way. The surrounding theme with each of these paintings is the historical significances they have to America. Many of the paintings have transferred hands between individuals and finally many are housed in museums and art institutes. Many of Leutze paintings have received mixed emotions. Some people have seen the paintings as inspiration and felt a sense of patriotism, while others see the paintings as melodramatic. Leutze piece Westward the Course of Empire takes it Way, is a two part piece. The initial study, completed in 1861, is housed at the Smithsonian. The second is a mural painted in the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C. completed in 1862. Both paintings are the same basic format but the final painting has a drastic change between them. The painting shows a mass of settlers carrying rifles, trying to move their animals and families in the covered wagons to the west. The west shows vast, open land for up the taking. In the distance you can see the line of the horizon said to be the San Francisco Bay area. In the final painting, Leutze included an African American boy. He is leading a mule. He is a freedman. With the inclusion of the freedman, Leutze is showing his stance on slavery. Not long before the boy was added to the painting, slaves in Washington D.C. were emancipated. These paintings showed the world that expanding to the west would be a very profitable venture for the newly formed United States. The left side of the picture is bright and inviting where as the right side portraying the East side of the country is dark and dreary possibly indicating there isn’t much left for people in the East and that the Western frontier is where everyone needs to get to in order to live the American Dream. Leutze is also known for his piece titled The Storming of the Teocalli by Cortez and his Troops. In this picture the dream life of the Aztecs are fading away with the invasion of the Spaniards. You see senseless killing, sacrifices, and bravery in the painting. Though this painting depicts a scene from before America formed colonies, it has been used in comparison to the Mexican and American conflict of 1846. It is also believed that it was referenced to the uprising that occurred in Germany in 1848. Leutze was a strong supporter of the uprisings of the lower class. He believed in democracy and freedom. The most famous piece Leutze had painted was Washington Crossing the Delaware. This painting was completed while Leutze was