Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819-1904)
Signed and dated "MJ Heade/1878." l.l.
Oil on canvas, 15 1/4 x 10 1/4 in. (38.8 x 26.0 cm), framed.
Condition: Lined, minor retouch, areas of possible skinning.
Provenance: Sir Morton Peto, Estate of Charlotte M. Ober, to a Private Collection, to Christie's New York, December 6, 1991, Lot 63, through to the current owner by family descent.
Literature: Stebbins, Theodore E., Martin Johnson Heade, Janet L. Comey, and Karen E. Quinn, The Life and Work of Martin Johnson Heade: A Critical Analysis and Catalogue Raisonne (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), no. 460.
N.B. Martin Johnson Heade was born in 1819 in rural Pennsylvania, and began painting at the age of eighteen. He spent the next forty years traveling around the United States as well as going abroad to Europe to paint. In 1858, he moved to New York City and settled into the Tenth Street Studio Building, where he painted alongside many of the leading painters of the Hudson River School. His landscapes from this period clearly show this influence, although he was less interested in conventional scenes of natural beauty and often chose to paint eastern salt marshes instead. He also began painting still lifes when he moved to New York; these mainly consisted of arrangements of flowers in vases. In his later years, he began to paint magnolias and roses in a different manner, reclining on a table instead of in a vase and by themselves instead of amongst other types of flowers. These later still lifes also reflect a great attention to detail, surprising for an artist near the last years of his life (1).
1. Stebbins, Theodore E. Jr. Martin Johnson Heade. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1999.
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