Figura Serpentina Paintings, 1959

Oil on canvas

Lil Picard Collection, University of Iowa Museum of Art   1407.1999-1410.1999

Picard rarely referred to her childhood years before Berlin in her visual art. However the serpentine gothic S’s in the “Serpentina” paintings allude to the French city of Strasbourg; a city that represented several significant experiences. The closest major city to Lil Picard’s (née Benedick) home was Strasbourg. Benedick was a wine merchant and one can imagine that “Lili" regularly visited the city. Picard related to the “dual” nature of Strasbourg—it was historically torn between France and Germany. And it was in Strasbourg at the end of World War I that Lil met her first husband, Fritz Picard. Returning to the city as a mature American artist engaged in color and astronomic theories, Picard was also inspired by the gorgeous stained glass windows and the famous Atomic Clock in the Strasbourg Cathedral de Notre-Dame.