Woman on a Sofa

Woman on a Sofa
George Wesley Bellows
Acquisition Number: 70.42
Medium: Black crayon on paper
Size: 10" x 12 5/8"
Date: c. 1900's

Credit: Gift of an anonymous donor

It was almost as if he knew his lifespan would be limited. Twenty-three year old George Bellows was a prodigious painter who became a celebrated artist shortly after arriving in New York City from Columbus, Ohio. The youth intended to be an illustrator; however, he was befriended, influenced and taught by Robert Henri, the finest teacher of that time and leader of “The Eight”. George Bellows was elected the youngest associate academician of the National Academy of Design, invited to show in Venice, Italy at an exposition of fifty American painters and commissioned for a portrait from Ohio State University – all before he was thirty! The closely supervised, only child of elderly parents, Bellows overcame the stigma in college of being an “Artist” when the Cincinnati Reds courted him for his athletic ability. It is said he was stubborn, honest, a very loving person who believed in himself, yet not overly confident. Following his marriage and the birth of two daughters, Bellow’s art softened. He did a series of family paintings that are mellow and quiet. It was the prize fights, however, with their bloodthirsty spectators that earned Bellows his first and most lasting fame. He died at age 42 of a ruptured appendix.