Independence Day

July 3, 2009

Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, "Mrs. Schuyler Burning Her Wheat Fields on the Approach of the British," 1852, Bicentennial gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Schaaf, Mr. and Mrs. William D. Witherspoon, Mr. and Mrs. Charles C. Shoemaker, and Jo Ann and Julian Ganz, Jr.

Did Catherine Van Rensselaer Schuyler, wife of General Philip Schuyler, actually “burn her wheat fields on the approach of the British,” as Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze depicted? Probably not, but the work—the artist’s second of some dozen subjects from the Revolutionary War—is nevertheless one whose historical relevance is right on, complete with a red, white, and blue dress.