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Joseph Stella Self-Portrait

Artist:
Joseph Stella, 13 Jun 1877 - 5 Nov 1946
Sitter:
Joseph Stella, 13 Jun 1877 - 5 Nov 1946
Medium:
Blue crayon on paper
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1907
Topic:
Self-portrait
Joseph Stella: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.80.12
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Joseph Stella Self-Portrait

Artist:
Joseph Stella, 13 Jun 1877 - 5 Nov 1946
Sitter:
Joseph Stella, 13 Jun 1877 - 5 Nov 1946
Medium:
Ink on paper
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1900
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Headgear\Visor
Self-portrait
Joseph Stella: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; the Ruth Bowman and Harry Kahn Twentieth-Century American Self-Portrait Collection
Object number:
NPG.2002.345
Exhibition Label:
Joseph Stella 1877-1946
Joseph Stella's early ink self-portrait reflects the young artist's commitment to his craft. Depicting himself at his easel with a visor to sharpen his focus, Stella demonstrates a skillful use of cross-hatching and a nuanced handling of modeling from dark to light, reminiscent of Rembrandt. Although Stella had intended to follow his older brother-who had come earlier to the United States-into medicine, he soon enrolled in art school, studying at the Art Students League and at the New York School of Art with William Merritt Chase. The confidence that Stella exudes in his self-portrait may well have resulted from the admiration his teacher and classmates expressed for his draftsmanship. In 1901 Chase praised one of Stella's portrait studies with the assertion, "Manet couldn't have done it better!" Stella's fellow students applauded his accomplishment.
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Joseph Stella Self-Portrait

Artist:
Joseph Stella, 13 Jun 1877 - 5 Nov 1946
Sitter:
Joseph Stella, 13 Jun 1877 - 5 Nov 1946
Medium:
Gouache, graphite, metalpoint, watercolor and crayon on prepared paper
Type:
Drawing
Date:
c. 1940
Topic:
Self-portrait
Joseph Stella: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.93.368
Exhibition Label:
America's leading futurist artist, Joseph Stella created monumental abstract paintings characterized by dramatic contrasts of light and color, thrusting diagonals, and dynamic movement. But this self-portrait focuses instead on self-revelation, reflecting the contradictions of Stella's artistic and personal life. Not known to be an introspective person, the Italian-born artist studied his own image more intensely as he grew older and more reclusive. Although the pose here recalls the classical Renaissance profiles he admired, the intensity and complexity of the image belie this tradition. Touches of red on the lips, eyelid, nose, and cheek are unsettling. The turbulent pattern and acrid yellow splotches in the background reinforce the sense of anxiety. Yet the concentration of his gaze, the flare of his nostril, and the set of his lips convey the spirit of a headstrong individual who persists despite emotional turmoil.
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Joseph Stella Self-Portrait

Artist:
Joseph Stella, 13 Jun 1877 - 5 Nov 1946
Sitter:
Joseph Stella, 13 Jun 1877 - 5 Nov 1946
Medium:
Metalpoint on paper
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1937
Topic:
Clothing & Apparel\Dress Accessory\Headgear\Hat
Nature & Environment\Plant\Tree
Self-portrait
Joseph Stella: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; the Ruth Bowman and Harry Kahn Twentieth-Century American Self-Portrait Collection
Object number:
NPG.2002.346
Exhibition Label:
Joseph Stella 1877-1946
In adhering to the demands of the tradition-laden technique of metalpoint in the early twentieth century, as exemplified in this mature self-portrait, Joseph Stella compared himself to a tree, digging its "roots obstinately, stubbornly" into the medium, imagery developed here. The strong presence of a tree trunk, with a protruding branch that frames the artist's head, testifies to Stella's interest in the natural world. His self-portraiture demonstrates the confidence of an artist able to merge the modern with the traditional; the mystical with the observed; and the symbolic power of medium, technique, and image. Describing his commitment to capturing inspiration in his images, Stella reflected: "The greatest effort of the artist is to catch and render permanent (materialize) that blissful moment (inspiration) of his when he sees things out of normal proportion, elevated and spiritualized, appearing new, as seen for the first time."
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Joseph Stella

Artist:
Raphael Soyer, 25 Dec 1899 - 4 Nov 1987
Sitter:
Joseph Stella, 13 Jun 1877 - 5 Nov 1946
Medium:
Watercolor and graphite on paper
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1944
Topic:
Equipment\Walking stick\Cane
Drawing
Joseph Stella: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.2001.60
Rights:
© Estate of Raphael Soyer, courtesy of Forum Gallery, New York
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Marcel Duchamp

Artist:
Joseph Stella, 13 Jun 1877 - 5 Nov 1946
Sitter:
Marcel Duchamp, 28 Jul 1887 - 1968
Medium:
Collage, blue paper cutout on paper
Type:
Collage
Date:
c. 1920
Topic:
None
Silhouette
Marcel Duchamp: Visual Arts\Artist
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.98.6
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Louis Michel Eilshemius

Artist:
Joseph Stella, 13 Jun 1877 - 5 Nov 1946
Sitter:
Louis Michel Eilshemius, 4 Feb 1864 - 29 Dec 1941
Medium:
Chinese white, gouache and pencil on paper
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1938
Topic:
Louis Michel Eilshemius: Visual Arts\Artist
Louis Michel Eilshemius: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter\Landscape
Portrait
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.91.147
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