The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane

Copied John Quidor, The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane, 1858, oil on canvas, 26 7833 78 in. (68.386.1 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible in part by the Catherine Walden Myer Endowment, the Julia D. Strong Endowment, and the Director’s Discretionary Fund, 1994.120
Free to use

Artwork Details

Title
The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane
Artist
Date
1858
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
26 7833 78 in. (68.386.1 cm.)
Credit Line
Museum purchase made possible in part by the Catherine Walden Myer Endowment, the Julia D. Strong Endowment, and the Director’s Discretionary Fund
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Landscape — forest
  • Landscape — time — evening
  • Literature — Irving — Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Literature — character — Icahabod Crane
  • Literature — character — Headless Horseman
  • Equestrian
Object Number
1994.120

Artwork Description

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.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006