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    Description

    George Wesley Bellows (American, 1882-1925)
    Portrait of Florence Budd, 1914
    Oil on panel
    39 x 31 inches (99.1 x 78.7 cm)
    Signed and inscribed on the reverse: Portrait of Florence Budd / Geo Bellows / 146 E. 19 St. / New York

    PROVENANCE:
    The artist;
    Estate of the above, 1925;
    Emma S. Bellows, the artist's wife;
    Estate of the above, 1959;
    H. V. Allison & Co., New York;
    Private collection, Dallas;
    By descent to the present owners.

    Much admired in academic circles, George Bellows' work was included regularly in exhibitions organized by the National Academy of Design in New York. His popularity was further enhanced by a series of paintings devoted to prizefights and boxing clubs in New York-activities closely followed by the athletically inclined artist. In 1913, Bellows achieved official recognition when he was elected a full academician by the National Academy of Design. Such honors meant little to Bellows, however. A tireless worker for the break with academic tradition, he helped to organize the Exhibition of Independent Artists in 1910 and the International Exhibition of Modern Art, more commonly referred to as the Armory Show, in 1913. A group of his oil paintings and drawings was included in the latter.

    Although Bellows remains better known for his boxing scenes, landscapes and views of bustling urban activities, he painted a substantial number of portraits as well. Whether these were inspired by people on the street or family members or commissioned, the artist took delight in recording the distinctive character of each of his subjects rather than idealizing them. Portrait of Florence Budd of 1914 is notable in that it is remarkably early within the artist's oeuvre, painted just one year following the seminal 1913 Armory show, during a time of unbound creativity for the artist.

    Bellows' varied interests led him to explore different genres as his mood suited him, but portraiture was one constant throughout his career. And while his experimentation with contemporary art theories would seem to mark him as a modernist, Bellows understood his work as the new age extension of three American masters of the preceding generation: Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, and James MacNeill Whistler. This becomes evident when looking at portraits such as Portrait of Florence Budd, which combine the frank, psychologically penetrating characteristics of Eakins's portraits with color harmonies adapted from Whistler's. Bellows also often used poses reminiscent of the works of the American master portraitists, William Merritt Chase, John Singer Sargent, and Bellows' mentor, Robert Henri. The artist used portraiture as a vehicle for artistic exploration. He found the demands of portrait commissions to be frustrating, and once he was firmly established as a successful artist, he limited his portraits to friends or family, making these works among the most intimate of his entire body of work.

    This work is included in the online version of the artist's Catalogue Raisonné available at www.hvallison.com and will be included in the publication being prepared by Glenn C. Peck.


    Condition Report*: Under UV exam, a thick varnish fluoresces green and makes restoration difficult to discern, but there does appear to be a 5 x 1/2 inch addition along the left edge of the figures hair and a few vertical hairline lines of inpaint in the upper right quadrant. Scattered vertical craquelure following the natural grain of the wood. Minor frame wear, visible along the extreme right edge.
    Framed Dimensions 45.25 X 37.25 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2021
    5th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 579

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