Sully Passage Of the Delaware
11x14 Matted Print

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About This Item

The Passage of the Delaware, 1819
Thomas Sully, American (born in England), 1783–1872
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Gift of the Owners of the old Boston Museum, 1903
Accession number: 03.1079

The Passage of the Delaware was commissioned by the state of North Carolina for the Senate Hall of the State House in Raleigh-one of many contemporary history paintings sponsored by the young American government. According to the register of paintings that Sully kept, he began the painting on August 7, 1819, and finished it a little over four months later on December 15 (some three decades earlier than Emmanuel Leutze's more famous version of the subject at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Sully had suggested the subject, "the passage of the Delaware, preparatory to the battle of Princeton," to the governor of North Carolina. This event, a turning point for the American military during the Revolution, took place on Christmas night 1776.

This text was adapted from Davis, et al., MFA Highlights: American Painting (Boston, 2003)

Matted to a standard 11" x 14" format (image size may vary).