George Bellows was recently described by a critic as having creating paintings that are “…among the most beautiful made by an American.” This high praise would have come as a surprise to the young student from Ohio who arrived in New York City in 1904 determined to become an artist. George Bellows enrolled at the New York School of Art, where he had the good fortune to study with influential teacher and painter Robert Henri.
Entranced by the vibrancy and grit of urban scenes, Bellows devoted himself to painting a city that was growing in every way. From the picturesque river to the most gruesome fight scenes, Bellows recorded it all to great acclaim, having his first solo show in 1911 on Madison Avenue, only seven years after arriving in New York.
Bellows’s paintings were collected during his lifetime by the most distinguished American museums, including the National Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Later celebrated work included portraits of women, including his wife, his daughters, and his mother. Bellows died at the young age of 42 of complications from a ruptured appendix.