In this episode of Anatomy of an Artwork, explore Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's Indians Attacking a Wagon Train, a strikingly dynamic vision of the American frontier. Perhaps best known for his depictions of iconic moments in American history, such as Washington Crossing the Delaware, Leutze celebrates themes of national identity, Manifest Destiny, and ultimately the American Dream. Here, Leutze creates a composition built on suspense, in which a party of pioneers is alerted to an impending attack of Native American warriors. Ambitious and sophisticated both in both content and form, Indians Attacking a Wagon Train exemplifies the unique synthesis of realism and idealism by which Leutze mythologized American history. This romantic portrayal of westward expansion will be offered as a highlight of Sotheby’s American Art Auction. (16 November | New York)
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