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Joseph Stella

Flower Study
about 1919
silverpoint and crayon
12 7/8 x 6 1/2 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum Purchase through the Robert Tyler Davis Memorial Fund

Throughout a career as one of America's leading early abstract artists, Joseph Stella retained a strong interest in depicting nature. He chose silverpoint for many of his nature studies because he relished this technique's challenges as well as the exquisite delicacy of its line. "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."