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Joseph Stella
Neapolitan Song
1929
oil
38 1/2 x 28 1/2 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Françoise and Harvey Rambach



Italy—Joseph Stella's birthplace and spiritual home—inspired this lush scene, ripe in its associations. This ode to creative forces takes its cues as much from the smoking volcano Vesuvius as from the exotic flora and fauna, whose shapes provide a provocative interplay of male and female forms.