Joseph Stella (American, b. Italy, 1877–1946)
A vision of fertility, Purissima is Joseph Stella’s futurist madonna. All things in this garden are at the height of life—ripe fruits, flowers in peak bloom, and birds in breeding plumage, plus Vesuvius erupting in the background. A haloed figure at the center glows as if she’s crafted of stained glass. This image, in the High Museum of Art, is part of a series of Stella’s paintings of the madonna.