Existing comment: George Bellows
Summer City, 1909

Between 1908 and 1912, George Bellows created an important series of paintings depicting the rivers surrounding New York City. The artist seemed especially interested in the various functions of the rivers for the people who used them daily, from ferrying goods between the docks to cooling recreational swimmers on hot summer days. Summer City depicts a group of boys skinny-dipping from the banks of the Hudson River. Bellows frames his vista with two trees cropped by the edge of the canvas. Between them, figures are rendered in short swaths of pale pigment that contrast with the dark tones of the shore. The subject signals the artist's gradual move away from gritty scenes of urban realism toward more idyllic leisured subjects.
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