Lady of the Lake

Horace Pippin American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 911

A self-taught painter from Pennsylvania, Pippin started making art at thirty-seven, and later became one of the most recognized African American artists in the country. Based loosely on Arthurian legend, Lady of the Lake is his lone painting of a female nude. She takes the form of a sunbather at the edge of the water, sitting with her face held up to the light and next to a log cabin that appears too small to accommodate her. The cabin, canoe, Indigenous-style blanket, rose trellis, bricolage planters, and lush, mountainous landscape suggest that Pippin mined resources close to home to build the composition.

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Lady of the Lake, Horace Pippin (American, West Chester, Pennsylvania 1888–1946 West Chester, Pennsylvania), Oil on canvas

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