About this artwork
In January 1914, George Bellows wrote to a friend, “There has been none of my favorite snow. I must always paint the snow at least once a year.” Soon after, on February 13, a blizzard hit New York City, inspiring the artist to paint Love of Winter. Bellows is usually associated with the artists of the so-called Ashcan School, a group of urban realists active in the early twentieth century who communicated their enthusiasm for scenes of contemporary city life using thick, animated brushwork. Here Bellows enjoyed the challenge of representing snow, employing a palette knife to create varying degrees of texture in the built-up pigment.
Renowned for his rough-and-tumble images of boxing matches, the artist also excelled at landscapes and city views. Love of Winter depicts an energetic group of skaters and onlookers in what scholars believe to be a public park, although the scene could be a composite of both urban and rural sites. The crowd, comprising a range of ages and social classes, reflects the diversity of those that frequented the recreational places that still characterize New York. The painting also reveals the artist’s recent exploration of new theories that suggested color combinations based on musical notation. He employed a series of intensely saturated warm shades of red, orange, and yellow throughout Love of Winter, offsetting them with cool blue, green, and lavender tones. Broad, slashing brushstrokes convey movement, wind, and speed, enhancing the vigor of the composition.
- George Wesley Bellows
- Love of Winter
- New York
- Oil on canvas
- Signed, lower right: "Geo Bellows"
- 81.6 × 101.6 cm (32 1/2 × 40 1/2 in.)
- Friends of American Art Collection