George Bellows

And what happened 21 days ago.

Punished by the loss of our child to an adventure camp, my husband and I quickly rushed into juvenile delinquent mode, commencing a week’s long commitment to:

  • little sleep
  • lots of adult movies – but not those kind
  • a huge breach of moderate alcohol consumption recommendations
  • and a trip to Soho

And it was on the afternoon of our adventure to the latter, we introduced ourselves to Mr George Bellows, an American realist painter, currently being exhibited at the RA.

OK. We didn’t meet him as such as he did pass away almost 90 years ago, however we did manage to take in 71 examples of his creative talent.

And within five minutes of entering the show you will (I did), assert that this chap’s a highly accomplished all-rounder. For not only can he paint; he can draw; additionally, he is sharp in his observation and depiction of early 20th century life, especially those less glamorous subjects whom find themselves either ring side at fights, working on the shore of the Hudson or swimming in the nude.

Let’s return to the paintings (38 in total), for these impressive works provide the viewer with reason enough to go see his artistic achievements in the raw. Especially, the first couple of rooms of the exhibition.

Be prepared to admire a mixture of cityscapes, views of the Hudson River, boxing fights, seascapes (and cliffs) and subjects whom appear a little less kept than your usual turn of the century folk whom tend to show up in portraits.

In addition – please note – he really knows how to paint snow.

Look out for – I promise I really tried to be concise here:

  • Men of the Docks (1912)
  • New York (1911)
  • Summer Night Riverside Drive (1909) – receiving a highly commended for use and effect of light
  • And, a snow painting (which is predominantly mauve and white – I think in the second room on the left of the entrance to the next room –if only I’d purchased the catalogue…it’s very, very good)

The show runs until 9 June 2013