George Bellows profile: artist of New York life

If the status of Edward Hopper continues to rise (not least through a recent
box-office-busting show in Paris), Bellows, who was far better known in his
lifetime, remains a marginal figure. In America he is far from forgotten:
Bill Gates bought his Polo Crowd for $27.5million (£18million). But he has
never shaken off the image of the early 20th-century boy wonder – “as
American as doughnuts, and about as interesting”, as one critic put it. In
Britain, despite recent small showings at the National Gallery and the
British Museum, he remains largely unknown. But a major exhibition at
Washington’s National Gallery of Art has awoken America to Bellows’s
subtlety and range as an artist, and it will undoubtedly excite interest
here when it opens at the Royal Academy later this

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