George Wesley Bellows was an American realist painter, known for his bold depictions of urban life in New York City.
He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and was encouraged to draw by his Mother (who ultimately wanted him to become a Bishop.) At university he excelled as an athlete and was offered a professional baseball contract which he turned down to move to New York City to study painting. The city was a revelation to him after growing up in Ohio; the busy, dirty streets, the homeless and the vast cultural variety.
Bellows became well known for his paintings of street urchins and boxers as he mastered the use of colour and in 1906 he painted his first masterpiece, "The Cross-Eyed Boy." After his marriage in 1910, his subject matter began to shift. While he continued to paint urban scenes, increasingly he focused on landscapes of Maine and Woodstock, as well as portraits.
It was the early age of 43 at which George Bellows died of appendicitis, sadly at the height of his fame and artistic prowess.