Andrew Wyeth Cape May Painting

Title: Cape May
Artist: Andrew Wyeth
Painted: 1992
Medium: Painting / Print / Watercolor

About Andrew Wyeth Cape May Painting

watercolor on paper
25 x 39 in.

In Cape May, executed in 1992, Wyeth paints a nun staring out to sea, resting against a dory on the beach, a subject which evokes both nineteenth century symbolism and Wyeth's own pictorial lexicon. Anne Classen Knutson writes: "Boats are established metaphors for mortality in American art. Thomas Cole and Winslow Homer, for example, used them to suggest the vulnerability of life.  In the pictorial mythology of old New England, the lone figure and lone dory represent endurance and individualism.  Wyeth's early depictions of boats are part of those traditions, while his later works lend an idiosyncratic tone to the conventional symbolism". The nun in Cape May is wearing the large starched cornette and blue robe associated with the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, a Roman Catholic congregation of women founded in 1633 devoted to helping and healing the sick and dying. A rosary dangling from her waistband lies conspicuously beside her in the sand.