“The Lone Tenement” beside the East River

George Bellows painted many busy, emotional New York scenes in the early 20th century. “The Lone Tenement,” from 1909, depicts a raw city and its cast-off residents.

“George Bellows was a poet of the city, an artist who loved New York as much as Monet loved his garden or Bierstadt loved the Rocky Mountains,” states Artcyclopedia.com.

“There are so many things to look at in this picture that Bellows hardly knows where to direct our attention: sunlight randomly glinting on a window, transients huddled around a fire, a horse-drawn carriage, a ship belching steam on the East River, and in the center a lonely building withering in the shadow of the then-brand-new Queensboro Bridge.”

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11 Responses to ““The Lone Tenement” beside the East River”

  1. petey Says:

    i like bellows pretty well but i’d never seen that one. great find.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    It’s new to me too. I love the sense of New York on the margins–a tenement on the edge, and people on the edge as well.

  3. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    But where can you see that now, certainly not Manhattan? The rich have taken over the poor neighborhoods that once were and made looking and living as the poor once did, turning it chic and stylish, a fashion of the times. Manhattan Noir is all cleaned up and instead should be called Manhattan Blah!

  4. NYCDreamin Says:

    Beautiful painting, thanks!

  5. The messy, crowded, chaotic city of 1911 « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] also revealed a more desolate side to the city, like this raw portrait of a single tenement by the East River. Share this:TwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  6. terry Says:

    One of my favorites…nobody did NY better than George Bellows…he died young, so these treasures are few and far between. I have loved this one for a long time. It sings to the NYC of my youth, 1950s though 1980s when the lower west side started the changes….

  7. The “river rats” swimming in the East River « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Painter George Bellows chronicled many of New York’s slum streets and tenements. […]

  8. Ghostly outlines of the city’s vanished buildings | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] sense; this was once a neighborhood of belching factories on the East River and the houses of people who worked in […]

  9. The Greenwich Village vision of artist Alfred Mira | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] seems to come from the urban realists who made a name for themselves in the early 1900s, such as George Bellows and George […]

  10. kathyfroberts Says:

    Does anyone know where I can find a map of the land where New York Hospital is now? My dad was born there in 1898.

  11. Haunting emptiness of the city’s lone tenements | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] 1909 “Lone Tenement” (at left) shows a deserted brick walkup in the shadows under the then-new Queensboro Bridge, a […]

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