White House ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’ painting to be auctioned after controversy over Trump’s twist on it

The “Washington Crossing the Delaware” painting is set to go up for auction in May.

The famous painting is expected to fetch up to $20 million when it goes under the hammer at Christie’s.

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George Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze was painted in 1851Credit: Alamy
A tribute painting Washington Crossing the Delaware was created by conservative artist Jon McNaughton in 2018 and featured Trump

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A tribute painting Washington Crossing the Delaware was created by conservative artist Jon McNaughton in 2018 and featured TrumpCredit: JonMcNaughton/JonMcNaughton.com

Only three of the Washington Crossing the Delaware paintings exist. Besides the one up for auction, another was destroyed during World War I and the other is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the American Wing.

The 1851 oil painting was made by Emanuel Leutze who captured America’s first president leading troops during the American Revolution.

In 2018, a conservative artist, Jon McNaughton, paid tribute to the iconic painting by depicting Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, press secretary Sarah Sanders and other members of the Trump administration rowing on the water.

McNaughton titled the painful Crossing the Swamp as a nod to Trump campaign speeches describing Washington DC as a “swamp”.

McNaughton told ABC News that the phrase drain the swamp was an inspiration for this painting, but she doesn’t capture the full meaning of the The painting.

Once revealed, there was controversy surrounding the painting with many voicing their opinion on Twitter.

“The country is really divided on this, obviously I’m getting a lot of kickbacks from the left and a lot of support from the right,” McNaughton told ABC News.

In the original painting, Leutze showed Washington attempting to carry out a surprise act on a Hessian garrison of approximately 1,400 troops.

The artist deliberately showed a variety of people who represented the melting pot in the United States.

Viewers can see a black soldier, a soldier wearing a Scottish bonnet, moccasins, and buckskin clothing suggesting a nod to Native Americans.

The painting to be auctioned hung in the West Wing of the White House from the 1970s to 2014.

A re-enactment of this famous moment takes place every year and draws crowds to the banks of the Washington River in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

In 2021, the comedy celebrated its 241st anniversary.

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