Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman
Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman
Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman
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Rumble in the Jungle by LeRoy Neiman

  • American artist LeRoy Neiman composed this compelling and dramatic work on canvas
  • It captures the legendary Rumble in the Jungle boxing match held in Zaire in 1974
  • In a fury of color and form, Neiman deftly captures Muhammad Ali’s victory over Foreman
  • Renowned for his scenes of spectacle, Neiman is among America's most popular modern artists
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Watch video Item No. 30-8015
$885,000
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LeRoy Neiman
1921-2012 | American

The Rumble in the Jungle

Signed, dated and inscribed "Ali • Foreman / Round VIII / Zaïre Oct. 29, ’74 / LeRoy Neiman" (upper left)
Acrylic on canvas

LeRoy Neiman, one of America's most popular and well-known artists, captures one of the most important sporting events in history in this incomparable composition. The legendary boxing match known as the Rumble in the Jungle took place on October 30, 1974, in Kinshasa, Zaire at 4 A.M., and aired in the United States the night of October 29. Muhammad Ali, the underdog, took on the reigning Heavyweight Champion of the World, George Foreman, and the match was watched around the world. Ali’s improbable victory became the stuff of legends.

Neiman was both a boxing fan and a personal friend of Ali’s, and thus was in attendance at the fight. His riveting painting of the Rumble In The Jungle brings to life his visual recollection of the whirlwind of Ali’s stunning victory. Unusual for Neiman and utterly fascinating, the work displays a dramatic yet cohesive montage, composed with multiple “scenes” from the critical eighth round. Each captures a memory from Neiman’s experience as a spectator, like individual frames snipped from film. Indeed, on the painting’s reverse is written in Neiman’s hand: For Jim, This is the way it looked to me in Kinshasa, Leroy Neiman ’75.

The painting pulses with excitement and movement. From the detail of Ali’s right jab, to Foreman’s sweat spinning in the air as he reels from the punch, the work captures both passion and power. With color and form and movement, the legendary moment of Ali’s victory takes shape on canvas. Even the chanting of the crowd resonates through the work, as the words, Ali Bomaye (“Ali kill him”) are painted above Ali’s shoulder as he walks away from a fallen Foreman.

Neiman has long been celebrated for his electrifying paintings and illustrations of athletes and celebrities in vibrantly hued settings. His captivating oeuvre captured the defining moments of American culture throughout the 20th century, from ballpark dugouts to concert halls across the country. Heralded today as the Norman Rockwell of the postwar era, Neiman remains among the most beloved American painters of his age, and today his works are included in dozens of museums around the world.

Born in Minnesota in 1921, LeRoy Neiman long considered himself an illustrator; his first job as a teenager was, in fact, illustrating signs for a local grocery store. After serving briefly in the military in Germany, he returned to the Midwest to study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he eventually became a teacher of illustration. It was in the early 1950s that he would meet a man who changed the trajectory of his career - Hugh Hefner. Shortly after he published his first five issues of Playboy magazine, Hefner invited Neiman to contribute an illustration to the publication, beginning a relationship that would endure for more than half a century.

His success with Playboy allowed him to branch out as an artist in his own right, and he soon became the de facto artist of the world's most famous sports stars and entertainers. His subjects included the likes of Mickey Mantle, Muhammad Ali, Sylvester Stallone and quarterback Joe Namath, as well as Olympiads and major sports teams from around the country. Today, his works remain highly prized for their brilliant palettes and star-studded subjects, earning him a place among the most coveted American artists of all time.

Canvas: 37” high x 49” wide
Frame: 44 3/16” high x 56 1/4" wide
specifications
Artist: Neiman, LeRoy
Framed:56 1/4"W x 44 3/16"H
Unframed:49"W x 37"H
Period: 1919-Present
Origin:America
Subject:Genre
Width:56 1/4 Inches
Height:44 3/16 Inches
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A Real Knockout: The Rumble in the Jungle Boxing Contracts

Muhammad Ali - Photo by Neil Leifer for Sports Illustrated On October the Rumble in the Jungle World Heavyweight Championship pitted the then undefeated boxing champion George Foreman against challenger Muhammad Ali The match ended with Ali winning by knockout...
Muhammad Ali - Photo by Neil Leifer for Sports Illustrated On October the Rumble in the Jungle World Heavyweight Championship pitted the then undefeated boxing champion George Foreman against challenger Muhammad Ali The match ended with Ali winning by knockout...
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