Eye Candy for Today: Martin Johnson Heade – Magnolias on Gold Velvet Cloth

Magnolias on Gold Velvet Cloth, Martin Johnson Heade

Magnolias on Gold Velvet Cloth, Martin Johnson Heade (details)

Magnolias on Gold Velvet Cloth, Martin Johnson Heade

Oil on canvas, roughy 15 x 24 inches (54 x 77 cm)

Link is to Wikimedia Commons page with access to high a resolution image. There is also a zoomable version on the Google Art Project. The original is in the collection of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Though he also painted landscapes, seascapes and a variety of still life subjects, 19th century American painter Martin Johnson Heade was known in particular for his paintings of birds and flowers.

Head did a number of close up, carefully observed paintings of magnolia blossoms, of which this painting is a beautiful example.

 
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4 Replies to “Eye Candy for Today: Martin Johnson Heade – Magnolias on Gold Velvet Cloth

  1. Thanks again, as always, Charley.

    Of Heade’s 620 known ( some orchid) paintings, 250 have been discovered since 1975.
    Would love to see them all.
    Was he influenced by folk- or naïve-artists or did he influence others like e.g. Henri Rousseau?

  2. Heade and Rousseau were contemporaries in time (late 19th — early 20th century), but I don’t know of any direct connection or influence one way or another, Heade did travel to Europe, so he could have seen Rousseau’s work. I don’t see Heade as particularly stylistically related to folk or naieve artists, his landscapes in particular strike me as sophisticated and much in keeping with his time.

  3. Barbara Novak, one of America’s premier art historians, broke into the world of American art history in the 1950s, when few professors taught the topic.
    She is the person who would know.
    Novak was awarded the distinguished Teaching of Art History Award from the College Art Association and a chaired professorship at Barnard College was named in her honor.
    Barbara Novak published three major books, American Painting in the Nineteenth Century: Realism, Idealism, and the American Experience (1969), Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting, 1825-1875 (1980), and Voyages of the Self: Pairs, Parallels, and Patterns in American Art and Literature (2007).

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