"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Billy Sunday

This 1923 lithograph of Billy Sunday (1862-1935) by George Bellows hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"In 1891, Billy Sunday, the star left-fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies, was offered a contract paying him considerably more money per month than an industrial worker would earn in a year. But he left the game for considerably less money to become an evangelist and Bible teacher for the YMCA. Converted four years previously and having heard the call, Sunday would go on to become one of America's most popular evangelists. Although his career waned in the 1920s, he was still in demand, and he traveled and preached until his death, eventually reaching more than 100 million people. Ironically, Sunday's gifts as a preacher eventually earned him more fame and money than baseball.

In this lithograph, George Bellows, the great realist of the early twentieth century, captures the fiery, spiritual intensity of Sunday's oratory skills by emphasizing his forceful gesture one that delights his audience and charges the whole scene with a celestial glow." -- National Portrait Gallery

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