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George Wesley Bellows (1882 - 1925)

Lot 61: GEORGE BELLOWS (1882-1925)

Sotheby's

May 22, 2002
New York, NY, US

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Description

signed Geo. Bellows/E.S.B., l.l. oil on canvas Painted in 1911. George Bellows first visited Monhegan Island in Maine at the invitation of his former teacher and good friend Robert Henri, who suggested that Bellows join him and another young artist, Randall Davey, on a three-week painting excursion in the summer of 1911. Monhegan Island had been a popular painter?s colony during the summer months since the turn of the century, but was inhabited year-round only by a small group of lobster fishermen and their families. Though less than three miles long and only one-half mile wide, the island contained some of the most spectacular scenery to be found anywhere along the Maine coast. The village of Monhegan was built at the mouth of a natural cove on the island?s sheltered western side, but along its eastern shore rose massive rocky headlands, which were constantly battered by the rough seas of the open Atlantic. Virgin forests and windswept grassy uplands covered the island?s interior. Powerfully affected by Monhegan?s wild beauty, Bellows poured out his impressions in letters to his wife, writing to Emma shortly after his arrival, ?This is the most wonderful country ever modeled by the hand of the master architect? (August 9, 1911, Bellows Papers [Box 1, Folder 3], Amherst College Library). Although Bellows was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, he was no stranger to the sea. His mother grew up on the eastern end of Long Island and during his childhood, Bellows and his family often spent their summer holidays visiting relatives in Sag Harbor. The artist first explored the theme of man?s interaction with the sea in his 1910 work Shore House (Private Collection), painted after he and Emma returned from a one-day trip to Montauk during their honeymoon. One of the only finished paintings to result from the 1911 visit to Monhegan, Bellows? An Island in the Sea (figure 1, 1911, oil on canvas, 34 _ by 44 3/8 inches, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio) is reminiscent of S

Provenance

Estate of the artist, 1925 Emma S. Bellows (his wife) Estate of Emma S. Bellows, 1959 H.V. Allison & Co., New York Charles H. Morgan (the artist?s biographer), Amherst, Massachusetts, 1964 H.V. Allison & Co., New York Berry-Hill Galleries, New York, 1985

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American Paintings

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Sotheby's
May 22, 2002, 12:00 AM EST

New York, NY, US

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