Stag at Sharkey’s is a 1909 oil painting by George Wesley Bellows, categorized in the Ashcan School movement that illustrated everyday life in early twentieth century New York City. The painting portrays two boxers fighting in a private athletic club located in front of Bellows’ studio. The style of painting and the low viewpoint that Bellows used to capture the struggle suggests the force and energy of the match by blurring the details of the scene with rapid brushwork.
The painting is considered one of Bellows’ most iconic and popular works. He made a lithograph of the same scene in 1917. Bellows’ artwork that focused on boxing was among his most famous during his lifetime and remains so today. The painting is unique in the sense that the low viewpoint places viewers among the crowd’s spectacle, making them part of the action.