Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

Premier Auction - Session II

Sat, Mar 26, 2022 09:00AM EDT
Lot 1050

George Bellows

Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$100 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $200
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

(New York/Ohio, 1882-1925)

Dempsey and Firpo (M. 181), 1923-1924, edition of 103, signed lower right in pencil "Geo. Bellows" and titled, also signed lower left by the printer "Bolton Brown imp", lithograph on Basingwerk Parchment paper with watermark, image 18-1/8 x 22-1/4 in. sheet 21-3/4 x 25-7/8 in. silver gilt wood frame, 27 x 32 in.

Note: From the Whitney Museum of Art who holds the original oil:

"Dempsey and Firpo, one of George Bellows?s most ambitious paintings, captures a pivotal moment in the September 14, 1923 prizefight between American heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and his Argentine rival Luis Angel Firpo. The frenzy lasted less than four minutes, Firpo going to the floor nine times and Dempsey twice. Although Dempsey was the eventual victor, the artist chose to represent the dramatic moment when Firpo knocked his opponent out of the ring with a tremendous blow to the jaw. At the match on assignment for the New York Evening Journal, Bellows portrays himself as a balding man at the extreme left of the picture. His geometrically structured composition also creates a low vantage point that includes the viewer: looking up at this angle, we find ourselves among the spectators pushing Dempsey back into the ring. The excitement is further heightened by the chromatic contrast between the fighters bathed in lurid light, and the dark, smoke-filled atmosphere around them."

Associated American Artists label attached verso.

Literature: Lauris Mason, The Lithographs of George Bellows: A Catalogue Raisonn‚, 1992, no. 181

Provenance: Property from The Estate of Peter Rosenwald


hinged in, full margins, slight toning, small corner loss lower right, 8 in. printing crease right of center; frame with abrasions

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