Flowers, Vertical

by Joseph Stella (1877–1946)
Crayon and pencil on paper
13¼ x 10¼ inches
Signed lower center: Joseph Stella


Betsy Drake Grant

[With] Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles, California

Sale, Christie’s, New York, New York, October 13, 2016, lot 372, from above

Private collection, New York, New York

Private collection, New York, New York

Related Work (see following pages)

Peonies, ca. 1919, metalpoint and crayon on prepared paper, 23⅛ x 18½ inches; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

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. He expressed his joy for these floral images in his notes, writing, “My devout wish: that my every working day might begin and end, as a good omen, with the light, gay painting of a flower.”[1]

Betsy Drake Grant (1923–2015) was an American actress and writer, also known for her marriage to actor Cary Grant. After retiring from acting, she became a psychotherapist and worked with children.

[1] Patricia Junker et al., An American Collection: Works from the Amon Cart Museum (Fort Worth, TX: Amon Carter Museum, 2001), 192.

Artist Biography

An American Futurist painter and a leading figure in the origins of American Modernism

By Alexandra A. Jopp

An Italian-born member of the American avant-garde, Joseph Stella became famous for radiant, Futurist-influenced paintings of New York and particularly the Brooklyn Bridge

I. Biography
II. Chronology
III. Collections
IV. Exhibitions
V. Memberships
VI. Notes
VI. Suggested Resources

I. Biography

Joseph Stella is an elusive figure in the history of American art. His unpredictable,

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