Polo at Lakewood

George Bellows (American, 1882 - 1925)

1910. Oil on canvas, 45 1/4 x 63 1/2". 1911.001

After moving to New York City, Bellows found sporting subjects to paint in locales as diverse as the brutal boxing rings of the city’s men’s clubs and the genteel tennis clubs of Newport, Rhode Island. Invited by one of his patrons to attend a polo match at the estate of Jay Gould, in Lakewood, New Jersey, Bellows was fascinated by the contrast between the rush and violence of the game’s action and the carefully groomed appearance of the riders, ponies, and spectators. In this work, he has conveyed the turbulent movement of the sport using powerful diagonals, slashing brushstrokes, and freely applied paint.

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