George Wesley Bellows (1882-1925)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more Property from the Samuel B. and Marion W. Lawrence Collection
George Wesley Bellows (1882-1925)

Sun Glow

George Wesley Bellows (1882-1925)
Sun Glow
signed 'Geo Bellows.' (lower left)--signed again, inscribed with title and inscribed 'RO YG BPR, 146 E. 19 NY, p 220' (on the reverse)
oil on panel
15 x 19½ in. (38.1 x 49.6 cm.)
Painted in 1913.
Estate of the artist.
Emma S. Bellows, wife of the artist.
Estate of the above.
[With]H.V. Allison & Co., New York.
ACA Heritage Galleries, New York, 1966.
Private collection.
Christie's, New York, 30 May 1986, lot 236.
Raymond Balasny, New York.
[With]H.V. Allison & Co., New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Seymour Colman, San Diego, California, 1988.
[With]H.V. Allison & Co., New York.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1995.
The Artist's Record Book A, p. 220.
The Chapellier Galleries, Inc., American Art Selections, vol. VIII, New York, n.d., no. 14, illustrated.
V.A. Leeds, The Independents: The Ashcan School & Their Circle From Florida Collections, exhibition catalogue, Winter Park, Florida, 1996, p. 82, no. 58, illustrated.
J. Hardin and V.A. Leeds, In the American Spirit: Realism and Impressionism from the Lawrence Collection, exhibition catalogue, St. Petersburg, Florida, 1999, pp. 19, 20, 70, 84, no. 3, illustrated.
Winter Park, Florida, Rollins College, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, The Independents: The Ashcan School & Their Circle From Florida Collections, March 9-May 5, 1996, no. 58.
St. Petersburg, Florida, Museum of Fine Arts, In the American Spirit: Realism and Impressionism from the Lawrence Collection, March 21-June 13, 1999, no. 3.
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Lot Essay

Bellows made his first visit to the island of Monhegan, Maine during the summer of 1911 with his fellow artists, Robert Henri and Randall Davey. He returned two summers later with his wife and two-year-old daughter for an extended four month stay. On his first trip to Monhegan, the artist had painted mostly small sketches, measuring eleven by fifteen inches. Henri had encouraged the use of small panels so that the artists could explore the island and paint with relative ease. When he returned, Bellows chose to work on a larger format of fifteen by nineteen and one half inches. The new size still allowed him to carry his easel around the island, while permitting grander compositions.

The paintings from this visit, including Sun Glow, retain the artist's distinctive and sensual handling of paint augmented by a relatively new use of strong primary hues. Without question the seminal February 1913 Armory Show in New York that introduced Expressionism and Fauvism to the New York artist's society had its impact on Bellows, as well. In Sun Glow there is a poetry of rich blues, purples and greens that create a turbulent and passionate feeling of the ocean cove. Thickly applied with a palette knife, the pigments create a three dimensional surface effect that dramatizes the scene portrayed. There is a genuine immediacy of emotion so eloquently transcribed that it vividly captures that summer day nearly a century ago.

Bellows was very pleased with this group of paintings of Monhegan and organized an exhibit of many of them in January 1914 at New York's Montross Gallery. Critics of the show compared them to the seascapes of Homer: "Following in Winslow Homer's footsteps, Bellows, like Rockwell Kent, has translated with crude colors, oftentimes, but...with remarkable strength and sympathy, the scenery, the sea and the humans of the stern and rockbound Maine Coast." ("George Bellows at Montross," American Art News 12, January 24, 1914)

To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the paintings of George Bellows being prepared by Glenn C. Peck. An online version of the catalogue is available at
Special thanks to Mr. Glenn C. Peck for his assistance with the cataloguing of this lot.

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