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The Long Leg

Date: ca. 1930
Dimensions:
20 x 30 1/4 in. (50.8 x 76.8 cm.)
Medium: oil on canvas
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of the Virginia Steele Scott Foundation
Object Number: 83.8.25
Label Text:Edward Hopper's paintings are characterized by isolation, melancholy, and loneliness. The Long Leg depicts a sailboat near the Long Point Light at Provincetown, Massachusetts, at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The boat sails against the wind in a zigzag series of short and long tacks, or legs. Although the painting portrays a scene of leisure, no people are visible on the boat or in the landscape. Hopper's precise observation of light and of the behavior of the boat link him to a tradition of American Realism, but the stark, reductive composition and mood of isolation reflect the abstract, impersonal spirit of Modernism.