With his wife Emma, infant daughter Anne and a stack of wooden panels, George Bellows arrived on Monhegan Island, Maine in July 1913 for a four month stay that would turn out to be the most productive season of his career. A wonderful confluence of events made it possible for the artist to work rapidly and with mastery in creating over one hundred and ten paintings; one oil for each day of his stay. Firstly, the weather remained fair and let him explore and paint endlessly every nook and cranny of this beautiful island located ten miles out to sea. Secondly, he still carried within himself a renewed sense of purpose. Just a few months prior he spent a great deal of time studying the countless masterpieces by European Modernists shown at the seminal International Armory Show in New York City. Works by Picasso and Derain, among others, encouraged him to keep his palette bright and his brushwork fluid.
Although Monhegan had been a fishing village for one hundred years, it became better known as an artist's colony during the first decade of the twentieth century. By 1913, artists had carved half a dozen trails across the island leading away from the harbor on the western side to the massive 160 foot high cliffs of Blackhead and Whitehead a half mile to the east. Bellows knew this terrain well; he had stayed on the island for six weeks two years before. On that trip, accompanied by his teacher, Robert Henri and fellow student, Randall Davey, he had struggled with small panels measuring 11 x 15 inches. Never one for making oil sketches, he found it difficult to compose on such a modest scale. Now in 1913, armed with panels roughly twice this size, he painted effortlessly outdoors with a large brush that he favored. The island opened up before him. At one moment he would be found down at water's edge capturing the power of pounding surf on the headlands. At other times he would stand on the highest points of exposed rock and looking across the island to the Camden Hills, fifteen miles away.
Green Point is one of those splendid vista views, looking north from the tip of the island--a sailboat is working herself around the sea ledges just beyond Pebble Beach. His brushwork is energetic, yet controlled. Miles of open water and limitless sky are laid out through a handful of sure strokes. His day's labor has a freshness and timelessness that belies the fact that it occurred more than ninety years ago.
This painting will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work being compiled by Glenn C. Peck in cooperation with the artist's daughter.
Special thanks to Mr. Peck for his assistance with the cataloguing of this lot.