Never one to go for the obvious, painter George Wesley Bellows would turn down careers in professional baseball and commercial art to pursue a life as a painter. He would not follow any standard path either; leaving Ohio State University just before he would have graduated and heading to New York. There he enrolled at the New York School of Art under Robert Henri, and immediately fell in with this leader of "The Eight". Bellows earliest works would reflect the group's Realist use of urban subjects in dark palettes and unique brush work.
Later the group would be known as the "Ash Can School", and Bellows would be noted as its youngest member, but his skills at depicting his realistic subjects would quickly earn him membership in the prestigious National Academy of Art, and he would not exhibit with the Ash Can group after their first 1906 show.
By 1910 Bellows himself was teaching at the Art Students League, and only three years later was deeply involved with the famous Armory Show of 1913, which introduced modern art to the American public. While the techniques, theories and styles were not universally accepted, Bellows was deeply moved by many of the works, and showed the influence of his peers in his own paintings.
By 1914 he had brightened his palette, but maintained his dynamic form of brushwork in executing his unique subject matter. He worked at a feverish pitch throughout his career, occasionally completing up to three paintings in a single day, and this allowed him to accurately capture the overall spirit of his subject.
Sadly, Bellows would die at the young age of forty-two, after his appendix had ruptured. He had exhibited widely, and his works were purchased for many private and public collections.