Details

Title

Purissima

Artist/Maker

Joseph Stella (American, born Italy, 1877–1946)

Date

1927

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

76 x 57 inches

Credit

Purchase with funds from Harriet and Elliott Goldstein and High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund

Accession #

2000.206

On View

Currently not on view

Despite a reputation as the first American futurist celebrated for his abstracted paintings of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, Joseph Stella drew inspiration from the traditional art and landscapes of his native Italy throughout his career. Almost life size, Stella’s "Purissima" is part Christian icon, part goddess of nature—the soaring stems of the pink lilies delineate the Virgin’s throne, while the stamen of the central flower suggests her crown. In the distance are Mount Vesuvius and the outline of Capri, landmarks of the Bay of Naples, where Stella painted the work.

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