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Portrait of Laura (Laura Bellows Monett)

Date: 1915
Dimensions:
40 x 32 in. (101.6 x 81.3 cm.)
Medium: oil on canvas
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of the Virginia Steele Scott Foundation
Object Number: 83.8.2
Label Text:In 1913, the Armory Show introduced radical European art, such as examples of Fauvism, Cubism, and Futurism, to America. George Bellows was somewhat shocked by these new styles, but his subsequent paintings reflected their influence. Directly after the Armory Show, Bellows began a series of portraits that experimented with theatrical lighting and bold, almost jarring, juxtapositions of color. The black dress and reserved pose of his half-sister Laura are somber counterpoints to the luminous, abstract areas of color that fill the background and are reflected in her face.
George Bellows was the youngest member of the so-called Ashcan School. He attained success with paintings of boxing and other sports in the first decade of the 20th century. Portrait of Laura foreshadows the more personal work he would do from the Armory Show until his death at age 43.