Artist: Martin Johnson Heade

Cover Art for Century of The Death of The Rose Book: About the Painting

“Cattleya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds” (1871), Martin Johnson Heade (National Gallery of Art)

Five paintings of noted American painter Martin Johnson Heade are currently part of the Permanent Collection of The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

I purchased publications rights for use of one painting, “Cattleya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds” (1871) by Martin John Heade from The National Gallery of Art. As part of the purchase a hi-resolution photograph of the of the original artwork was provided to the forthcoming publisher  (NewSouth Books of Montgomery, Alabama)  to aid in the printing process using four color separations to faithfully reproduce the high quality of the original painting. Rights for reproduction were purchased to include special permission for publication as the book cover for Century of The Death of The Rose: The Selected Poems of Jorge Carrera Andrade, 1926–1976, published by NewSouth Books of Montgomery, Alabama/ Louisville, Kentucky.

About the Artist


Martin Johnson Heade, a member of the Hudson River School of painting, was born in 1819 and reared in Lumberville, a small rural community near Doylestown, in Buck’s County, Pennsylvania. Primarily a self-taught artist with no formal training, he took a study trip in 1840 to Europe where he spent two years in Rome. Inspired by his trip to Italy, Heade then became a constant traveler, never stopping anywhere long enough to put down roots. By turn he lived in New York, Philadelphia, Rome again, Saint Louis, Chicago, Trenton, New Jersey, Providence, Rhode Island, Boston, St. Augustine, Florida, and various cities and rural areas of Brazil. Heade died September 4, 1904, St. Augustine, Florida.

Influenced by landscape painters, particularly Frederic Edwin Church, the period after 1863 marks the maturing of Heade’s personal style of landscape painting. His interest was particular to the beauty of nature as represented in broad panoramas of landscapes and the subtle atmospheric effects of air, clouds, sky, and weather. His detailed renderings of the natural world in their preciseness resulted in stunning paintings of landscapes of the Hudson Valley. and his capture of the fleeting beauty of nature. Beginning in 1863, Heade took several trips to Brazil to begin painting a complete series of South American hummingbirds and orchids. His later years were devoted to floral still lifes, recurring scenes from the South America landscapes of his travels, and coastal landscapes of New England, for which he is most often remembered today.
Although Heade exhibited widely —at the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts, the American Art-Union, The Boston Athenaeum, and Royal Academy in London— he did not achieve noticeable recognition during his lifetime. His paintings were rediscovered during a 1940s revival of interest in the Hudson River School of Painting and are today considered to be the work of a premier American artist.
                                                                                              Steven Ford Brown

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