Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow inspired Quidor to paint the climactic moment from this famous tale. Ichabod Crane is a prickly and stuck-up schoolmaster and a bumbling suitor for the lovely Katrina, who uses him to make her beau jealous. The pompous twit is no match for the clever locals, and he disappears, chased away by the headless horseman through a darkened wood. Irving’s educated nitwit, strapping local boy and flirtatious beauty would reappear as folk characters throughout American literature in the nineteenth century.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.