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 private New York collection 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 Raisonné (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 artists of the Hudson River School. He began painting still lifes when he moved to New York; these mainly consisted of arrangements of flowers in vases. In his later years, he painted magnolias and roses in a different manner: reclining on a table instead of in a vase, by themselves, and 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).
Areas of thin paint in some of the darker green leaves. A minor surface imperfection (1/8 inch diameter) corresponding to a dot of retouch in the background in the u.r. quadrant. Minor, pale dots of retouch scattered in the upper half of the background. Minor retouch in the far right petal of the rosebud, and a few subtle areas of retouch in the lower leaves. Pale retouch at the very lower center of the background, beneath and to the right of the signature. Retouch is very subtle and minimal in all cases.
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