Martin Johnson Heade was a prolific American painter who was born in the year 1819 and died in 1904, he was very well known for his salt marsh landscapes, seascapes, portraits of tropical birds like humming birds, as well as lotus blossoms and other still life’s.
His painting style and subject matter, while derived from the romanticism of the time, is regarded by art historians as a significant departure from that of his peers. Martin Johnson Heade was born in Lumberville, Pennsylvania, and was a son of a storekeeper.
He studied with Edward Hicks, and possibly with Thomas Hicks. He travelled to Europe several times as a young man, became an intinerant artist on American shores, and exhibited in Philadelphia in 1841 and New York in 1843.
Friendships with artists of the Hudson River School led to an interest in landscape art. In 1863, he planned to publish a volume of Brazilian hummingbirds and tropical flowers, but the project was eventually abandoned.
He travelled to the tropics several times thereafter, and continued to paint birds and flowers. Heade married in 1883 and moved to St. Augustine, Florida.
His chief works from this period were Floridian landscapes and flowers, particularly magnolias laid upon velvet cloth.
He died in 1904. His best known works are depictions of light and shadow upon the salt marshes of New England.