George Bellows (American, 1882-1925) Two Women 59 1/4 x 65 1/2in (Painted in 1924.) Kayla Carlsen
Sold for $1,265,000 in New York, 19 November 2014

Art Market Review

Issue 9, July - December 2014

Page 16

This work was one of two monumental canvases painted by Bellows in the summer of 1924 during the last productive season of his life. He died tragically young the following January. It is modelled on Titian's Sacred and Profane Love which Bellows knew from illustrations. Indeed, this was the initial title of his painting. Two Women, like the work that inspired it, is full of mystery and ambiguity. As with Titian's painting the significance of the composition, the clothing – or lack of in the case of the nude – and the objects all pose intriguing questions of interpretations without pointing towards a single answer. We can only conclude that Bellows wanted each viewer to draw his or her own conclusions to these questions, just as Titian had left his patrons to explore the intricacies of Sacred and Profane Love without an explanatory narrative. The answers would have been inconsequential to the artist, as long as the journey of the viewer's personal exploration was extensive.

Kayla Carlsen
Head of Sales of American Art

Related auctions