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.