George Washington: Truth Behind the River Ride

Artist Mort Kunstler paints a more accurate version of the historical moment.
3:17 | 12/27/11

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Transcript for George Washington: Truth Behind the River Ride
George Washington crossing the Delaware -- one of the most iconic images of our first president to be during the revolutionary war. What he did after that voyage change the war and of course history but now it seems that picture is not as accurate as first thought. This is the painting that gave Americans their mental image of the -- Washington soldiers rode his small boat from chunks of -- and general stands lit by the sun it's heroic its glorious. And it's wrong. This is more -- we know Washington frost at night snow and -- Artists Morton -- research the history spoke with historians and began -- Then you're beginning to see a flat boat with George Washington centered -- higher up -- when. The famous version was painted by Emmanuel Lloyd's of 75 years after the crossing it is 21 feet wide. -- -- charged admission to see it he gave the public what they wanted. The general most likely crossed on an existing cable guide its -- with fold up ramps on each and to take on horses and wagons -- both art and history. -- kept to Washington her -- I have him with one leg up on the -- bracing himself and holding on to a -- and cannon. And I worked on. The foreground figured. Holding -- -- Who Hanson in the front likes Washington very dramatic way in the final inning Kunstler used a small bronze -- who worked out that lighting. We'll have to do is tuned to gain -- and underneath life on the lantern is -- to hold. The flashlight like that and get an Angolan. -- as Washington look like the older president Washington. Kunstler -- Washington at 44 his agent that night. And then there's the ice it's very unlikely there were chunks. Lloyd's had what we would cool miniature icebergs. And river -- when -- free freezes over. Sheets of ice form he's studied ice I also worked with photographs of the Delaware. When it's I thought that was a big challenge actually was just figuring out lighting effects of the reflection on the ice from torches. Kunstler has published a shelf load of books featuring his paintings mostly war. Always striving for accuracy. I -- and is -- in an expert on ten seconds in time I have to paint the pictures of the if troops. Much -- a particular building. The sirens can write their marching by a particular building I have to find out what the roof -- me in. That's something I mean I love the accuracy of that no idea no ice -- -- historic buzz kill I'm gonna call you right. I'm sorry that -- and aggravated and I mean we have to admit I mean you see Washington crossing over on a barge in the middle of the night yeah. I'm loving guys chunks of ice chunk -- I'm not diminishing significance of the madness thing in the -- is just not quite there and still excellent job and is not just.

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