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George Bellows

George Wesley Bellows was an early 20th century American artist who was well known for his illustrations & lithographs of many social, political and cultural issues in his short life. Born in 1882 to a very devout family in Columbus, Ohio, George developed a love for drawing at a young age. In 1904, he decided to leave college and moved to New York City where his painting changed from the Gibson Girls illustrations to a more gritty realism with cityscapes, landscapes and focused more on the political aspects of the era. From his first masterpiece to his last, his focus on the subject changed, but they never lacked the precision and realism that he was known for.

In 1910, Bellow married and shortly after had two children. As they grew, the subject of his paintings began to shift from realism to portraits, though he was known to still paint a few landscapes through the years. After being introduced to a lithograph, Bellows purchased a printing press in 1916 where he began to gain notoriety for his wartime propaganda and selling war bonds. By the time of his untimely death in 1925 by a ruptured appendix, he was well known for his “tough-minded realism” with his “complex systems of design.” From his first masterpiece “The Cross Eyed Boy” to his last, George was considered one of the greatest painters and the country’s greatest printmaker of his time.

"The artist is the person who makes life more interesting or beautiful, more understandable or mysterious, or probably, in the best sense, more wonderful." -George Bellows

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