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Maker(s):Bellows, George Wesley
Culture:American (1882-1925)
Title:Cross-Eyed Boy
Date Made:July 1906
Materials:oil on canvas
Measurements:canvas: 20 x 16 in.; 50.8 x 40.64 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1984.46
Credit Line:Bequest of Charles Hill Morgan
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Label Text:
In his record book, George Bellows identified the sitter of this arresting portrait as Thomas McGlannigan, one of several neighborhood children the aspiring artist convinced to pose for him. Bellows’s dark, sooty palette and brushwork can be attributed to his training at New York’s Chase School (located on the corner of 57th Street and Sixth Avenue) with Robert Henri, who encouraged his students to adopt the painterly, virtuosic techniques of such seventeenth-century Dutch and Spanish artists as Frans Hals and Diego Velázquez. Here, McGlannigan emerges from thick shadow to confront his viewer directly, like some unkempt and ungainly prince of the street. In his pioneering book about Bellows, Charles Morgan described Cross-Eyed Boy as the painter’s “first great portrait,” which “closes a respectful curtain on the prelude of a student and swings wide to disclose a full-fledged artist.”

RRG, 2009


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