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on October 12, 2012
I saw the George Bellows exhibit in Washington and was blown away by his works. As soon as I got home, I ordered this book. When it arrived, though, I was greatly disappointed by the quality of the image reproduction. The colors have none of the vibrancy of the originals - they are muted, muddy, and dark. Flesh tones that jump out at you from the painting are just warm gray swaths on these pages. This is sad, since Bellows was a master at using color, light, and brush strokes to focus attention where he wanted and and to guide your eye around the canvas. I put the blame on the printer whose quality control is pretty abysmal.

Another annoyance are interminably long essays, often laced with artspeak, that don't shed that much light on Bellows or his work. Well, they do shed light, but you have to wade through a lot to get it. I'm a fan of being clear, concise, and to the point, and you won't find that here.

On the positive side, this is a great compendium of Bellows' work. It has tons of drawings, lithographs, prints, paintings, as well as photos of Bellows and New York during the time he worked there. This is a must-have book for artists who aim to work in a similar style, for fans of Bellows, and for art schools in general. I only wish the color was up to snuff.
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This book is the catalog for the unusually large show of George Bellows' works, recently mounted by the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC--the more remarkable because it covers a relatively short career (1906-1924). Bellows' subject matter was often drawn from the rougher aspects of urban life. Life in the tenements, building sites and street life. Some these paintings are so packed with people, buildings and activity that there is literally to negative space in them. The famous fight paintings are included of course and you marvel at the feel of action that comes from the post-impressionist/pre-expressionist painting style embodied here.

I have always thought about Bellows as the master of the blues. His landscape paintings are often dominated by cobalts and aquamarines. There aren't many other painters who come close to the mastery of these colors. There are plenty of these open, light-filled and vivid landscapes in the book and show. For me they are the highlights.

Also included are etchings and drawings done for magazines and a large number of portraits. The latter often show the influence of Bellows' mentor, Robert Henri, although there is something about the former's female faces that just don't match the tone and life found in the latter's.

Another reviewer found the reproductions in the catalog dark and lacking in color. In my copy oft the book, that really wasn't a problem. The most colorful of the landscapes, for example, are close to the paintings in the exhibit (which I saw at the National Gallery). For the rest, it's important to remember that Bellows painted a lot of somber subjects and used dark colors to convey the feel of urban living for the underclasses. There are also plenty of night scenes which are by definition, dark. Overall, the book is faithful to the feel of the exhibition as well as the individual paintings.

The book is relatively expensive at $60.00, but it is an important record of early 20th Century American painting and a definitive look at an American master.
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on May 29, 2013
This was one fantastic retrospective at the Met. It is was truly breathtaking to see all of Bellows work displayed together. If you missed it this book is almost just as good. My only complaint is that some of his sketches and lithographs are shown in very small representations and i found them to be masterfully done. But i attribute this to peoples preference for painting and color. But in the end this is a fantastic book well worth a place in your library.
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on February 5, 2014
I saw this show in the National Gallery and wished I had bought the book then so I decided to buy it when I saw it on Amazon. Some of the reviews were negative which concerned me but the color was true and did George Bellows justice, even though only originals truly show his genius. I love this book.
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on January 6, 2013
I suppose if I hadn't seen this exhibition I might think these reproductions are okay, but having seen the paintings in person I can say this book disappointed. Bellows was a master in leading the viewers eye around the painting. His use of light and detail in different pockets of the paintings was exquisite. None of that is on view in the book. It's especially absent in the landscapes that almost shimmered in person and look dull and dark in this book.
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on March 22, 2015
Only when one sees the breadth and depth of any artist's work can you really make a judgment on him. In the case of Bellows, he is held from high reputation for being known only by his few boxing paintings when so much else is just as wonderful and more.
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on August 6, 2013
the Met exhibited a retrospective on this great american artist who died way before his time. this book was being offered, but at a price i could not afford. buying it on amazon, at the price they offered allowed me to bring this artist into my home for my enjoyment at a price that couldnot be beat! brand new book wrapped and sent beauifully. if this artist is someone you are interested in, this book gives a full appreciation of his like and work!
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on April 7, 2016
Your $45 is safe. Reproductions as they should be with the
lustre the paintings deserve would then be five stars. Not
lots of alternate choices, so it's this one then. Comprehensively
written with lots of back ground to fill in the blanks of a
fundamentally cheerful and successful American artist if you
have to point to one on the bookshelf at a future date.
Wonderful paintings of the Palisades, a subject which seemed
to interest no one else further down in New York, may be
it was too far to walk. A life cut short, one could only guess
at canvasses denied of a George Washington Bridge had he
run a full course of years. Did not see exhibit so will not criticize
rich people who can buy book and see show in two locations.
A foot note as to how Emma Bellows and family made out after
Bellows (sudden) death also seems to interest no one no matter
how many PHDs are organizing the retrospective.
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on January 7, 2013
This volume, prepared in connection with a travelling exhibition, gives a full picture of the range of Bellows's interests and achievements. We are very pleased with the production qualities.
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on March 12, 2013
This book captures the power of Bellows art, powerful brushwork, highly-skilled drawing, and beautiful use of colour. His stature should rise through the exposure this book provides.
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