“Dempsey and Firpo” by George Bellows depicts the boxing match between Jack Dempsey and Luis Firpo on September 14, 1923.
The painting depicts the dramatic moment when Firpo knocked Dempsey out of the ring, even though Dempsey was the eventual winner that night.
Painted in the style of the Ashcan School movement, it has become Bellows’ most famous painting. Bellows gave himself a cameo as the balding man at the extreme left of the picture.
The fight was a historic boxing fight. It was the first time that a Latin American fighter challenged for the World Heavyweight title, and it was one of the defining matches of Dempsey’s career.
Dempsey had been champion since 1919, and Firpo was one of the top heavyweights of the world. Eighty thousand fans paid to see the fight live at the Polo Grounds in New York City.
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