George Wesley Bellows is best known for his scenes of urban life, sporting events, and portraits. Bellows was born in Columbus, Ohio. After attending Ohio State University from 1901 to 1904, he enrolled in the New York School of Art, where Edward Hopper and Rockwell Kent were fellow students. While in school, he supported himself by contributing illustrations to popular magazines such as Vanity Fair. Soon after his move to New York, Bellows became associated with the free-spirited group of artists and critics centered around Robert Henri—known as The Eight, as well as by Frank Crowninshield, Edward Hopper, and Leon Kroll. In 1910 he began teaching at the Art Students League and soon after had his first one-person exhibition at the Independent Artists Gallery in New York. Bellows was among the artists who helped organize the avant-garde Armory Show in 1913 and some of his works were exhibited there. His art encompassed both less conventional subjects such as boxing scenes and political events, as well as more traditional images—portraits and leisure activities.
In 1916 he began to experiment with lithography, an interest he pursued for the rest of his life. His lithographs show dramatic contrasts of light and dark similar to the interplay of light and shadow seen in his paintings, particularly his scenes of boxing matches. And the dynamic and free brushwork of his painted images is carried over into the broad sweep of the lithographic crayon in his prints. In 1922, Bellows moved to Woodstock, New York, where he remained until his death in 1925.