Tropical Flower with Azalea

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

Provenance

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

Exhibited

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

Literature

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.

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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