Iconic Paintings in America’s Quest for Freedom

This famous painting from 1851 captures General George Washington’s dramatic crossing of the Delaware River. Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s spectacular oil painting on canvas captured the momentous and turning event of the Revolutionary War.

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American Revolution Artist John Trumbull
Trumbull’s greatest achievement was receiving a commission from the US government to paint 4 gigantic murals in the US Capitol after its destruction during the War of 1812. President James Madison personally picked out the paintings, which were Trumbull’s The Declaration of Independence, The Surrender of General Burgoyne, The Resignation of Washington and The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis. It took Trumbull 8 years to finish the paintings. When it was all said and done it was not a great success in the eyes of many who were critical of his work.

The Declaration of Independence July 4, 1776
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

To this day, US celebrates the 4th of July with thirteen gunshot salutes, a formal official Continental Congress dinner, toasts, barbecues, baseball games, carnivals, concerts, fairs, family get together, grand fireworks accompanied by patriotic songs, like The Star-Spangled Banner (the national anthem), America the Beautiful, God Bless America, My Country, ‘Tis of Thee, Stars and Stripes Forever, This Land Is Your Land among others, music, parades, prayers, picnics, ship decorations with blue, red and white bunting, speeches, and troop reviews.

As Thomas Jefferson once said: “My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!”

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