Van Gogh •
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George Bellows was born in Columbus, Ohio where he attended school before going on to Ohio State University. He was probably the first artist who ever
gave up a possible career as a major league baseball player in order to paint. He went to New York in 1904 and studied with Robert Henri and H. G. Maratta before opening his own studio in 1906. A giant of a man with prodigious energy, Bellows turned out literally a flood of paintings until his death in 1925. In 1908, he won the National Academy's first prize for landscape painting for the first landscape he painted, and was elected associate, one year later, making him one of the youngest men ever elected to the Academy.
Interested in physical strength and movement, Bellows began by painting in the manner of the "Ashcan School", working in a rather gray color tonality.
As he progressed, a more sensuous palette replaced this grayness, while his compositions became grander and more formal, displaying a dazzling technique that he applied to both landscapes and portraits. His portraits are quite emotional, suffused with a sincerity that is quite moving. His landscapes range in mood from bright lyricism to mysterious sadness. Bellows began to produce lithographs in 1916, showing a mastery of the use of black and white through subtle gradations in tone. Regrettably, his promising career came to an abrupt and untimely end when he died of an attack of acute appendicitis.