May 1, 2013

The Drunk

The Drunk


George Bellows

(American, 1882–1925)


Platemark: 39.7 x 33 cm (15 5/8 x 13 in.); Sheet: 57.7 x 44 cm (22 11/16 x 17 5/16 in.)

Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1936.579

Catalogue raisonné: Mason 169b

Edition: Second Stone



George Bellows made this lithograph as an illustration for an article in support of Prohibition published in Good Housekeeping by American suffragist Mabel Potter Daggett. Supporters of Prohibition, which had gone into effect in 1920, believed that alcohol was responsible for many societal problems, including physical violence. In this distressing image, a drunken father confronts his wife with a fist, while a daughter steps in to help and children cower in the corner. Bellows’s strong triangular composition reveals his fascination with an artistic theory called “dynamic symmetry,” in which geometry is used to promote continuity, flow, and balance.

See also
PR - Lithograph
Type of artwork: 

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