Neapolitan Song

Media - 2000.11 - SAAM-2000.11_3 - 92296
Copied Joseph Stella, Neapolitan Song, 1929, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Françoise and Harvey Rambach, 2000.11
Free to use

Artwork Details

Title
Neapolitan Song
Date
1929
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
38 3828 14 in. (97.571.7 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of Françoise and Harvey Rambach
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Animal — bird
  • Landscape — mountain
  • Landscape — plant
Object Number
2000.11

Artwork Description

Stella believed that every day should "begin and end [with] the painting of a flower." The exotic plants he sketched in the Bronx Botanical Garden resurface in this imaginary scene of the Bay of Naples, drawn with the precision and love of nature that Stella absorbed from Italy's Renaissance painters. The tips of the palmetto leaf radiate across the picture plane like a visible, unfolding wave of sound. Stella had moments of homesickness, when images of his homeland came to him as clearly as when he first arrived in America in 1896. Here, it is as if the Neapolitan song is reaching across the sea, bridging the distance between Stella's old home and his adopted country.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006