Reducing, Small, Third Stone


Lithograph on thin wove paper, 1921.

Reference: Mason 79.
Printed by Bolton Brown, as is seemingly the case of the whole edition.
Edition of 45, scarce.

Early in the 20th century the nascent consumerist movement started to promote a new ideal female body. Through advertising, and eventually through movies, a curvaceous figure, with wider hips and a thinner waist was being promoted as more desirable. This led women to work on their figures by exercising, and gymnastics gained in popularity for that reason. The first time Bellows exhibited this print, he commented on it as follows: “Gymnastics before retiring are supposed to reduce the flesh. The husband is contented with his figure.” Indeed, the woman reclines on the floor, strengthening her leg muscles, hoping to reduce fat and tone flesh in just the right places, all while her companion sleeps deeply. It seems 100 years later not much has changed.

Signed in and titled in pencil by the artist, and signed also by his printer, Bolton Brown.


11 x 8 5/8 inches