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The Cover
May 17, 2006

Under a Cloud

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2006;295(19):2222. doi:10.1001/jama.295.19.2222

Often called America's preeminent visionary painter, Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917) was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, at the midpoint of the 19th century when the town enjoyed the distinction of being the world's busiest whaling port. He could trace his Colonial forebears as far back as the 1630s; many had been sailors. He himself grew up with an intimate knowledge of the sea. In his professional career, he would return again and again to this seemingly inexhaustible wellspring for fresh inspiration. It was the source for one of his most familiar and oft-repeated motifs: A simple composition of a lone boat on a vast sea with a single occupant trying to bring it to safety. Under a Cloud (cover ) is one such work, probably completed around the turn of the century, when Ryder was in his 50s and had been living and painting in New York City for some 30 years.

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