About This Artwork

George Wesley Bellows
American, 1882–1925

Love of Winter, 1914

Oil on canvas
81.6 x 101.6 cm (32 1/2 x 40 1/2 in.)
Signed, lower right: "Geo Bellows"

Friends of American Art Collection, 1914.1018

Born in Columbus, Ohio, George Bellows played professional baseball before moving to New York City to study art. There, working with Robert Henri at the Chase School of Art, he adopted his teacher's free paint handling and interest in urban subject matter, thus becoming associated with the Ashcan School. While many of Bellows's paintings depict the gritty realities of life in the modern city, he also executed works that focus on the cheery scenes of everyday leisure more typical of American Impressionism. In Love of Winter, Bellows captured the rapid movement of a crowd of skaters across a pond—like the Impressionists, he loved the pictorial challenges of painting snow in sunlight and shade. Although the foreground scene bears some resemblance to his contemporaneous views of Central Park, the mountainous background derives from another setting entirely, indicating that Bellows likely synthesized different views to produce the composition.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings by George Bellows, December 10, 1914–January 3, 1915, cat. 19.

Milwaukee Art Institute, An Exhibition of Forty Paintings Presented to the Art Institute of Chicago by the Friends of American Art, March 1–29, 1925, cat. 4.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, June 1–November 1, 1933, cat. 431.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, June 1–November 1, 1934, cat. 497.

Art Institute of Chicago, George Bellows Paintings, Drawings and Prints, January 23–March 10, 1946, cat. 23.

Milwaukee-Downer College, Wisconsin, A Century of Landscape Painting by American Artists, 1851-1951, February 13-March 23, 1951, cat. no. 14.

Illinois, Wheaton College, Exhibition, April 3–June 12, 1951, no cat.

Vancouver Art Gallery, Two Hundred Years of American Painting, March 8–April 3, 1955, pl. 41.

Normal, Illinois State University Student Union Building, One Hundred Years of Painting, 1857–1957, March 17–April 5, 1957, cat. 3.

West Palm Beach, Florida, Norton Museum of Art, George Bellows: Love of Winter, December 6, 1997-February 8, 1998; traveled to Newark Museum, March 7-May 31, 1998; Columbus Museum of Art, July 10-September 13, 1998.

Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art, June 10-October 8, 2012; traveled to Metropolitan Museum of Art. November 13, 2012-February 18, 2013; London, Royal Academy of Arts, March 16-June 9, 2013.

Publication History

“Acquisitions,” Friends of American Art Fifth Year Book, 1914–1915 (Art Institute of Chicago, 1915), pp. 22, 34 (ill.).

Bulletin of The Art Institute of Chicago 9 (Art Institute of Chicago, 1915), p. 25 (ill.).

“Catalogue of Artists and Acquisitions,” Friends of American Art Sixth Year Book, 1916–1918 (Art Institute of Chicago, 1918), p. 9.

“Friends of American Art Announcement” (Art Institute of Chicago, 1919), ill.

The Art Institute of Chicago Handbook of Paintings and Drawings (Art Institute of Chicago, 1920), p. 39.

A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Art Institute of Chicago, 1932), p. 142.

John Shapley, ed., “George Wesley Bellows—Painter and Graver,” Index of Twentieth Century Artists (1934), p. 90.

Peyton Boswell, Jr., George Bellows (Crown Publishers, 1942), p. 63 (ill.).

Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago, 1961), p. 22.

“The Beauty of America in Great American Art,” Country Beautiful (1965), pp. 118–19 (ill.).
Charles H. Morgan, George Bellows, Painter of America (New York, Reynal, 1965), pp. 177, 195.

Donald Braider, George Bellows and the Ashcan School of Painting (Doubleday, 1971), p. 92.

Judith A. Barter et al, American Arts at The Art Institute of Chicago: From Colonial Times to World War I (Chicago: The Art Institute of Chicago, 1998), pp. 342-344, no. 186.

Judith A. Barter et al, The Age of American Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2011), no. 83.

"Paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago, Highlights of the Collection," (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2017) p. 92.

Ownership History

The artist, 1914; sold to the Art Institute of Chicago, 1914.

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