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American Paintings and Sculpture
Artist: George Bellows, American, 1882–1925
Oil on canvas
Unframed: 182.9 x 91.4 cm (72 x 36 in.), framed: 200.66 x 108.59 x 6.99 cm (79 x 42 3/4 x 2 3/4 in.)
Bequest of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903
Although nine-year-old Jean Bellows’s determined expression suggests otherwise, she fondly remembered posing for her father, George Bellows, on a hot July day at the family’s summer home in Woodstock, New York. Bellows amused her by playing Victrola records and reading Black Beauty. “Posing for ‘Lady Jean’ was quite easy,” she later wrote. “It took him only five days to complete. When I became weary of standing, he would let me sit, and he paid me regular model’s wages for my time.” As the study for the work (1999.80.1) shows, Bellows based the composition on the newly popular theory of Dynamic Symmetry, an intricate geometrical system of interlocking angles and planes, derived from an ancient theory of design that was attracting a number of avant-garde American artists and architects.
Michael Conforti et al., The Clark Brothers Collect: Impressionist and Early Modern Paintings, exh. cat. (Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, 2006), 13839, 316, 318, fig. 116.
Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 370, fig. 1.
Charles Brock et al., George Bellows, exh. cat. (Munich: National Gallery of Art, 2012), 290, fig. 145.
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.