Monet, Our Visiting Artist by Seward Johnson
Monet, Our Visiting Artist
Sponsored by John Daniel + Community Donors
South River Drive in front of Lower Park parking lot
This sculpture was created as an homage to Claude Monet (1840-1926) painting “Terrace at Saite-Adresse”. Monet was part of a group of painters known as the Impressionists. They emphasized texture, light and brushstrokes. Monet’s focus was not on the subject — such as a boat, landscape or person – but on the way that paint works on a canvas.
- Think about a famous artist and their style of painting. What would their version of “Washington Crossing the Delaware” look like?
- What would your version of the painting look like?
- Is there another location at the Washington Crossing Park that would be a beautiful location for a painting?
- Washington Crossing Sate Parks has 1,200 acres, containing meadows, woodlands, and 13 miles of trails, as well as campsites, a nature center, an astronomical observation ceneter, an open air theater, an arboretum, picnic facilities, and a visitors center museum that houses the Swan Collection of Revolutionary War artifacts!!! WOW!
- The famous painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware, was painted by Emanuel Leutze, and depicts the treacherous crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas night, 1776, and pivotal to ending the Revolutionary War.
- There are a few historical inaccuracies in the painting. The flag depicted in the painting is an early version of the Betsy Ross Flag – but it didn’t exist at the time of the crossing. Also, the boat that Washington crossed in would have been much larger, able to hold horses and heavy artillery.
- The 1st version of the painting was destroyed in Germany during a bombing raid in 1942.
- A long-forgotten mural painted in 1921 by George Matthews Harding was rediscovered while doing research for a book. The mural once hung in Trenton’s Tyler Opera House (of Tyler Pork Roll fame!) but was stored in a basement at Ringwood Manor State Park in north Jersey – and forgotten for fifty years! The Washington Crossing Park Association is currently restoring the mural. It will be featured in the park’s new museum which is scheduled to begin construction in 2024. Click here for more on the mural.
- The small 19th century building near the sculpture and the Washington Crossing bridge, is the Nelson House. This structure was not in existence during the historic crossing, but it has its own interesting history. It is the surviving kitchen and ice house of the Alexander Nelson Hotel, which was destroyed by a train derailment in 1904. Enjoy the quaint Nelson House garden, planted with plants of the period, and maintained by the Garden Club of Trenton.