American, born Italy, 1877–1946
Joseph Stella (American, born Italy, 1877–1946)
Oil on canvas
76 x 57 inches
Purchase with funds from Harriet and Elliott Goldstein and High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund
Currently not on view
Joseph Stella’s depictions of the world around him offered an idiosyncratic vision of the early 1900s. He found fame with a striking series of paintings featuring the Brooklyn Bridge. Always reinventing himself, however, he turned to a series inspired by the art and environment of his native Naples. Purissima is one in a series of exquisite, large-scale paintings featuring Madonnas painted to resemble early Christian icons and set in stylized, paradisiacal Italian landscapes. This example includes a view of the Mount Vesuvius gently erupting the distance.
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