The Holdup, first state

The Holdup, first state


George Bellows

(American, 1882–1925)


Platemark: 28 x 21.6 cm (11 x 8 1/2 in.); Sheet: 32.8 x 26.5 cm (12 15/16 x 10 7/16 in.)

Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1936.548

Catalogue raisonné: Mason 89

State: I/II


Did you know?

Their hats—a top hat, and a flat cap, or newsboy—help to distinguish the high society and working-class status of the two main characters in this print.


When the New York Times reviewed this work by George Bellows in 1921, it described it as a “subject interpreted in the spirit of Dickens. With a hint of melodrama, a hint of comedy, and a pinch of realism.” Bellows cast the episode as humorous; a gentleman in a fancy waistcoat and top hat is jumped by a thief with a small handgun and an accomplice emerging from the shadows behind. For such caricatured encounters, Bellows may have looked to the long history of political satire in the popular press. This is the first of two states, or versions, that Bellows made of this print.

See also
PR - Lithograph
Type of artwork: 

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