Analysis Of ' Leutze 's Portrait Perfectly Depicts Washington 's Leadership Skills

Analysis Of ' Leutze 's Portrait Perfectly Depicts Washington 's Leadership Skills

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Leutze 's portrait perfectly depicts Washington’s leadership skills during his time as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. For instance, Washington’s confidence and bravery is demonstrated in the painting through his stance and posture. He stands over his army with one foot placed on the edge of the boat and his head help up high while overlooking the turbulent seas ahead, leading his men into battle. In addition, Washington’s body language illustrates his perseverance and fortitude in that the harsh weather, represented in the painting via the dark clouds and thick ice, is not going to stop him or his men from achieving their goal of defeating the British and attaining their independence. The rough seas in the portrait can be seen as just another obstacle in their path that they must overcome in their journey in order to attain their goal. Washington and his men continued to fight through difficult times, even if it meant putting their lives in danger, showing courage, endurance, and persistence.
Moreover, Washington’s leadership qualities can be said to have given his men hope and confidence that they have what it takes in order to defeat the British. At a time of war, hope is crucial for an army because it is what keeps the soldiers going. Although it may have been a difficult time in the war, as illustrated through the gloomy weather, the faint rainbow in the background signifies that Washington and his men still had hope that they could win the war and gain their independence from the British, leading to hope of a better and brighter future ahead.
Furthermore, Washington’s men are seen struggling as they push through the thick ice of the seas, struggling to hold their rows in the fri...


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...as well as some of the ideals put forwards by Enlightenment thinkers John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau. For instance, the painting echoes the central idea of the Declaration of Independence that all men are born equal with certain natural rights that among them are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (SMW, p.72). Similarly, the painting also reflects some of the ideals represented by Locke in his Second Treatise of Government. For instance, Locke states that all men are naturally in a state of “perfect freedom,” a state Washington and his army were hoping to help the colonists achieve through the American Revolution (SMW, p.34). Moreover, Rousseau also talks about having the liberty to conform to a law that the people have created for themselves alluding to the idea of consent of the governed, or what’s now known as popular sovereignty (SMW, p 76-80).

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