In Le Brun’s work there are several recurring motifs, such as the tower, horsemen and chivalry, which are rooted in mythical and dreamlike imagery. In this heavily worked canvas Le Brun draws on the story of one of the most legendry of mythical figures – King Arthur. Here, Sir Bedivere, the last of Arthur’s knights left alive following the Battle of Camlann, is depicted on horseback with head bowed, beside a lake which appears covered in lilies. According to the legend Bedivere is supposed to return King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur, to the Lady of the Lake but cannot bring himself to throw it in the water. Through his technique of reworking the entire surface, Le Brun’s scenes lose their three-dimensionality but instead become more dreamlike and translucent.