Sunday, July 08, 2007

Martin Johnson Heade 1819-1904

"Magnolia on Red Velvet"
"Cattleya Orchid and Three Brazilian Hummingbirds"
"Thunderstorm on Narragansett Bay"
I have a special place in my heart for American artist Martin Johnson Heade: his dark seascapes with approaching storms, tropical landscapes with hummingbirds and orchids, magnolia blossums on red velvet, and beautiful sprawling marshlands. He was a painter with an amazingly accurate technique who rendered nature's changing weather patterns unlike anyone else. He discovered a way to capture the translucency of exotic orchids and the metallic feathers of Brazilian hummingbirds and set it all off against atmospheric, lush, surreal mountain backdrops. He had an impeccable design sense, too. The quality of his work is astounding.
He was born in rural Bucks County, PA (a place I know well) and learned to paint from his neighbor, folk artist Edward Hicks. In 1858, he moved to the new Tenth Street Studio Building in New York City -- home to leading Hudson River School artists such as Frederic Edwin Church. Read more about his fascinating life:
Martin Johnson Heade and here
The Art of Amy Crehore

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