Joseph Stella was born in Italy and moved to New York City in 1896, studied medicine and pharmacology and then attended the Art Students League under William Merritt Chase. From 1900 – 1909 he worked as an illustrator, and was especially inspired by immigrant life in New York.
The brief period from 1919–20 was one of extraordinary productivity and experimentation with different mediums. Not only working on his Futurist paintings, he turned his hands to botanical studies and collages as well.
From 1926 to 1934 he was in Rome and Paris, and he traveled to North Africa and the West Indies. These journeys resulted in a series of tropical works. Rendered in bright colors he delighted in color and form. Although most of his Futurist paintings were completed between 1912–1923, he also continued to reinterpret those subjects until his death in 1946.