Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (1816-1868)Leutze was born in Germany and went to America with his parents when he was nine years old. After the early death of his father he earned already some money by selling portraits. Later some of his paintings attracted attention and he received the first art classes. When he earned more money with his art, he went in 1841 to Europe to study there at the academies.
He was enrolled at the Düsseldorf Royal Art Academy, which was famous for its teaching of historical painting and landscape painting. He studied under the celebrated romantic painter Karl Friedrich Lessing who became a close friend. Later he went on to Munich, Venice and Rome before getting married and settling in Düsseldorf in 1845.
Part of the romantic "Düsseldorf school of painting" he focused on landscape and history painting. So his most famous painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware" (1851) is more influenced by impressions and sketches of the river Rhine near Kaiserswerth than the quoted Delaware. He hoped also that the liberal reformers in Germany would be encouraged by this portrayal of the American Revolution.
In 1859 Leutze returned to the U.S. and opened a studio in New York City. As a famous artist he was soon commissioned to paint a mural for the stairway in the House of Representatives in Washington.
Despite Leutze is one of the most famous American history painters his work was far more influenced by European academy art, especially by German Romanticism. Even when his topics and subjects are strongly related to American history, his artistic transcription was mostly a European one.