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Lifespan: 1819 - 1904
Nationality: American
Gender: male
Collection: 182 paintings

Martin Johnson Heade was an American artist from Lumberville, Pennsylvania. He was born in 1819 to a family who owned a small general store and ran the post office in Lumberville. Relatively little is known about his personal life, though Heade left a great store of artwork which still remains significant in the context of the Hudson River School works of art. Heade received his first artistic education from Edward Hicks, a folk artist who lived near Lumberville. He also traveled to Rome where he continued his mastery of basic artistic principles. Some of the paintings created in Rome were later displayed in New York galleries. Despite this early success, for the majority of his young life, his career was that of a traveling portrait artist. Despite his proficiency at portraiture, Heade developed a great interest in the landscape paintings gaining popularity and decided to move to New York in order to pursue an artistic career there. Once there, Heade became part of the circle of Hudson River School artists and began painting almost exclusively landscapes and still lifes. Despite his contemporaries and friends in the art world belonging primarily to the Hudson River School, art historians now classify the paintings of Martin Johnson Heade as belonging to the American Luminist painter due to the great emphasis he placed on the appearance of light and general atmosphere in his paintings. This creates a definitive contrast between the oil paintings of Martin Johnson Heade paintings and those of the Hudson River School artists; they made the emphasis of their paintings the portrayal of majestic natural landscapes such as mountains, valleys, and rivers. Martin Johnson Heade paintings are much more subdued in their subjects and quiet in the method of representing them. Later in life, Heade relocated to Saint Augustine, Florida where he continued to record the marsh landscapes in a more painterly style. The style of Martin Johnson Heade oil paintings do take a cue from the romantic trends of earlier times, but his creation of both landscapes and still lifes kept him from being pigeonholed as a specific type of artist. In fact, when Heade traveled to Brazil, he developed a new scientific form of painting that consisted of a series of paintings on hummingbirds which did not totally abandon some of the other qualities of his other styles of artwork. Because Martin Johnson Heade never received the fame during his lifetime that some of his contemporaries and friends did, it is unknown how many surviving Heade paintings exist, though it is known that he did create a fairly large body of work over the course of his career, both in terms of paintings and the earlier drawings and illustrations which appeared in books and magazines. Some of the most significant works of Martin Johnson Heade are: Lake George, The Harbor at Rio de Janiero, Magnolia Buds, View of Thimble Island, Roman Newsboys, Coastal Scene with Sinking Ship, and Thunderstorm on Narragansett Bay. These works display many of the different subjects and techniques that Heade experimented with during his career as an artist.


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A Branch of Apple Blossoms and Buds 1878 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

A Branch of Apple Blossoms and Buds 1878

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A Cloudy Day Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

A Cloudy Day

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A Glass of Roses on Gold Clothy Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

A Glass of Roses on Gold Clothy

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A Magnolia on Red Velvet 1885-1895 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

A Magnolia on Red Velvet 1885-1895

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A Single Rose in a Glass Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

A Single Rose in a Glass

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A Spray of Apple Blossoms 1870 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

A Spray of Apple Blossoms 1870

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A Vase of Corn Lilies and Heliotrope Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

A Vase of Corn Lilies and Heliotrope

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A Vase of Corn Lilies and Heliotrope 1863 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

A Vase of Corn Lilies and Heliotrope 1863

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Amethyst Hummingbirds Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Amethyst Hummingbirds

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Amethyst Woodstar 1864-1865 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Amethyst Woodstar 1864-1865

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An Amethyst Hummingbird with a White Orchid  1875-1890 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

An Amethyst Hummingbird with a White Orchid 1875-1890

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Apple Blossoms and Hummingbird Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Apple Blossoms and Hummingbird

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Apple Blossoms and Hummingbird 1871 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Apple Blossoms and Hummingbird 1871

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Apple Blossoms in a Vase Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Apple Blossoms in a Vase

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Apple Blossomss Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Apple Blossomss

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Approaching Storm Beach near Newport 1861-1863 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Approaching Storm Beach near Newport 1861-1863

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Approaching Thunder Storm 1859 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Approaching Thunder Storm 1859

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Approaching Thunder Storm 1859 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Approaching Thunder Storm 1859

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April Showers 1868 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

April Showers 1868

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Asters in a Field 1871-1879 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Asters in a Field 1871-1879

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Becalmed Long Island Sound 1876 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Becalmed Long Island Sound 1876

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Black-Breasted Plovercrest 1864-1865 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Black-Breasted Plovercrest 1864-1865

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Black-Eared Fairy 1864-1865 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Black-Eared Fairy 1864-1865

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Black-Throated Mango 1864-1865 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Black-Throated Mango 1864-1865

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Blue Morpho Butterfly 1864-1865 Paintings | Martin Johnson Heade paintings

Blue Morpho Butterfly 1864-1865

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