Images of inhumanity: George Bellows's War Series

Show simple item record Greenwood, Kristen Pilato 2022-05-10T18:06:46Z 2022-05-10T18:06:46Z 2006
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract The contributions of George Bellows as a draughtsman, painter, and lithographer are often overlooked in American art history textbooks. Although Bellows was a pupil of Robert Henri and surrounded himself with artists such as John Sloan, William Glackens, and Arthur B. Davies, it is they who are remembered more than he. Although a fair amount of research has been published on Bellows, little has been published on his War Series of 1918. In April 1918, Bellows began work on a series of drawings, lithographs, and paintings based primarily on the Bryce Report, a British report that documented German atrocities committed against Belgian civilians during World War I. Belgium was a neutral country, and the Bryce Report contained dozens of eyewitness accounts of the brutal acts. Bellows reacted to the Bryce Report by creating a series of powerfully violent images that served as an expression of the artist's feelings, as visual documentation, and ultimately as propaganda. This thesis examines Bellows's background and development as an artist, as well as his religious, social, and political views, in an effort to understand the reasons he created something that at first seems so out of character for him. Although the Bryce Report was the main reason Bellows created the War Series, he drew from other artistic sources for the imagery. Through the comparison of Bellows's sources with the actual artwork in the War Series, it becomes clear which images are purely documentary, and which are more personal expressions of Bellows's sympathy for the victims. Lithography was Bellows's passion, and he chose to execute this series first as lithographs because he felt so strongly about the subject. That choice and the compositional systems and color theories Bellows utilized in the War Series will also be examined. This thesis sheds light on an aspect of Bellows's work that has been largely overlooked by scholars for many years. The War Series holds a unique place in American art history. It played a critical role in the development of lithography in the United States and influenced the way propaganda is thought of today.
dc.format.extent x, 121 leaves
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject Bellows, George--Criticism and interpretation
dc.subject Bellows, George--Political and social views
dc.subject Bellows, George--Lithographs
dc.subject World War I--Art
dc.subject World War I--Atrocities--Belgium
dc.title Images of inhumanity: George Bellows's War Series
dc.type thesis
dc.type text University of Alabama. Department of Art and Art History Art history The University of Alabama master's M.A.

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