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Portrait of Clara Fasano

1943 Joseph Stella Born: Muro Lucano, Italy 1877 Died: New York, New York 1946 pastel on paper sheet: 27 1/8 x 15 in. (68.9 x 38.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution 1973.32.2 Not currently on view


Artwork Description

Stella drew his friend Clara Fasano on numerous occasions, creating casual studies and posed portraits such as this bold, formal image. Her fashionable hat, flowing black veil, and dramatic red lips and scarf clearly place her in the 1940s. The strong outlines of her face and jacket suggest a self-assured, modern woman. One of America’s foremost modernist artists, Stella retained strong ties to his Italian roots as well as to the traditions of the old masters. Even when drawing his friends, he preferred a strict profile view, reminiscent of the early Italian Renaissance tradition.

Graphic Masters II: Highlights from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2009

Keywords

Portrait female - Fasano, Clara - bust

drawing

crayon - pastel

paper