Tropical Flower with Azalea

Joseph Stella (1877 - 1946)
Silverpoint and crayon on paper
11⅛ x 12¼ inches
Signed lower right: Joseph Stella


Heath Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia

Sharon Mills Estate, Chattanooga, Tennessee, acquired from above, 1986

Sale, Sotheby’s, New York, New York, July 20, 2022, lot 466, from above


Heath Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, Nature in Early American Art, May 17–May 31, 1986

Richard York Gallery, New York, New York, Joseph Stella: The Tropics, October 1–November 12, 1988


Joseph Stella: The Tropics (New York: Richard York Gallery, 1988), 39.

Related Work (see following pages)

Single Flower, 1919, crayon and metalpoint on paper, 23 x 13¼ inches; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

Note: Early in his artistic training Joseph Stella showed a strong interest in studying flowers, something his teacher William Merritt Chase encouraged. Stella found inspiration for his drawings in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Italian and Flemish painters, and, in 1919, he began creating numerous silverpoint and crayon sketches of flowers, insects, and birds. Stella associated his floral imagery with themes of passion and sensuality, writing in his notes, “I was seized with a sensual thrill in cutting with the sharpness of my silverpoint the terse purity of the lotus leaves or the matchless stem of a strange tropical plant.”[1]

[1] Joann Moser, Visual Poetry: The Drawings of Joseph Stella (New York: Smithsonian Institution, 1990), 113.

Available work by Joseph Stella

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