The art of the fight
I just saw the George Bellows exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and highly recommend it to anyone in the city. The exhibition posited that Bellows may have taken inspiration for his work The Barricade from this Pollaiulo print, which had been acquired by the Met in 1917. Bellows never traveled to Europe, but he was a frequent visitor to the Met, and the influence of many icons of the institution's collection is apparent in his work. Perhaps the inspiration didn't end with The Barricade. In this image of boxers, a motif Bellows became known for, the dynamic bodies create a continuous form; as with Pollaiulo, the attention paid to the male anatomy results in both a tense, pugilistic scene and an elegant dance of connected forms. That physical confrontation can be an art in itself has oft been commented upon. As George Foreman once said, "Boxing is like Jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it."