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Emanuel Leutze, 1816–1868, Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851.
This lining features an iconic American painting by the artist Emanuel Leutze. Leutze finished a first version of the painting in 1850, but just after it was completed, it was damaged by fire in his studio. It was subsequently restored, but then in 1942, during World War II, was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid. The second painting, a larger replica of the first, was then ordered by a Parisian art trader and it was placed on exhibition in New York in 1851.
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Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (May 24, 1816 – July 18, 1868) was a German American history painter best known for this particular painting and is associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting. At 14, he painted portraits for $5 apiece and through such work was able to support himself after the death of his father. In 1834, he began studying under John Rubens Smith, a portrait painter in Philadelphia, and he soon became proficient. In 1842 he went to Munich before visiting Venice and Rome the following year to study the works of Titian and Michelangelo, before returning to Dusseldorf. In 1859 Leutze then returned to the US and opened a studio in New York City.
Washington is the clear focus of the painting and one of the more striking areas of the painting, although there are some inaccuracies. His stance, although of course intended to depict him in a heroic fashion, would have been very hard to maintain in the stormy conditions of the crossing. Also, it is thought such a stance would have risked capsizing the boat. It has also been argued that everyone would have been standing up to avoid the icy water in the bottom of the boat (the actual Durham boats used to have higher sides).
Macclesfield was once the centre of the English silk weaving industry and the world's biggest producer of finished silk. The area has been printing silk for over 300 years and at one point had over seventy mills operating in the town. The town is close to a water supply that passes through limestone, and when used in washing and dyeing it gives silk a uniquely attractive lustre.
Our silk linings are printed at a mill that has been producing printed fabric on the same site for the past fifty years and the process uses water sourced from its own reservoir.
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