Martin Johnson Heade Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions
8-11-1819 Lumberville, USA - 9-4-1904 St. Augustine, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Martin Johnson Heade was an American artist who painted in a very realistic manner, yet his painting style and subjects, while derived from the romanticism of the time, are regarded by art historians as a significant departure from those of his peers.
He studied with Thomas and Edward Hicks who were Naive painters. His earliest works during the 1840s and were portraits. He traveled to Europe several times as a young man going to France, Italy, and England to learn and paint. Heade was friends with the artists of the Hudson River School, and seeing their grand landscape oil paintings, inspired him to paint landscape art instead of portraits.
From the early 1860's to the early 1880s, when Martin Johnson Heade began to develop his own very individual style, he painted coastal and inland views, floral still life and tropical oil landscapes with hummingbirds and flowers. He continued to travel, making trips to South and Central America, he went to Brazil in 1863-64, and on his return, he planned to publish a volume of Brazilian hummingbirds and tropical flowers he had painted on location, but the project was abandoned. In 1866 he ventured to Nicaragua and in 1870 he took an extended painting trip to Panama, Colombia, and Jamaica.
Heade continued working until his death in 1904, having the longest career and also being one of the most versatile and talented American oil painters of the nineteenth century.
Martin Johnson Heade was not a widely known artist during his lifetime, but his work attracted the notice of scholars, art historians, and art collectors starting in the 1940s. He has since become recognized as a major American artist and Heade's works are now in major museums and collections around the world.
Today Martin Johnson Heade is admired for his originality, innovations and for the subtle atmospheric effects, glorious light and rich warmth of his canvas oil paintings. A Heade oil painting of Giant Magnolias on a Blue Velvet Cloth was made into a USA postage stamp in 2004. His paintings are occasionally discovered in unlikely places such as garage sales and flea markets.
The Most Spectacular Martin Johnson Heade Art Discoveries.
Magnolia Blossoms on Blue Velvet and Cherokee Roses In A Glass On Gold Velvet Plush, were purchased at an estate sale in Arizona for $60 in 1996. They sold at auction later that year for $935,000 and $135,000.
Two Magnolias on Blue Plush was originally purchased for $25 at a rummage sale by a Wisconsin man in 1989. Ten years later it was sold at auction for $880,000.
Magnolias on Gold Velvet Cloth was bought along with some used furniture for a total of $30.00 and was used to cover a hole in the wall of an Indiana resident for years. The owner became curious about the value of the painting after playing the art-related board game Masterpiece and verified its authenticity with a New York art gallery. The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston purchased the work for $1,250,000 in 1999.
An unnamed Martin Johnson Heade salt marsh landscape now titled River Scene was discovered in the attic of a Boston-area resident in 2003. It sold at a local auction house to an art dealer for $1.0 Million
In 2004 a Florida woman was informed of the Heade discovery featured on the TV show "Find!" by her son and inquired about a small 6 x 12-inch landscape that had hung in her living room. The painting, which her late husband had purchased for a $20 in St. Augustine in the 1970s, was authenticated as a late Heade marsh landscape. It sold at auction to an art dealer for $220,000.
A painting was found in a Massachusetts attic in 2006 and consigned to a local auction. The painting was authenticated as a Heade, having been painted between 1883 and 1890 also in St. Augustine, Florida. It sold for $200,000 in 2006.
Art Movement: Hudson River School, Luminism.
Artists Influencing Martin Johnson Heade: Edward Hicks.
He Traveled To Brazil, France, Italy, England, Nicaragua, Colombia, Panama, Jamaica.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.