National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS

Martin Johnson Heade

Selections from the Exhibition | Related Online Resources
Introduction | Seashore Views and Marshes | Early Still Lifes | Hummingbirds | Florida | Images

Early Still Lifes

Heade was a great sportsman and lover of the outdoors, but he never painted the typical still lifes of dead game and fruit. Instead, he painted flowers. Heade's early still lifes have a naturalness that captures the essence of his simple bouquets. Some of his best pictures, such as Red Flower in a Vase (c. 1871-1880), feature a single dramatic blossom, in this case, a double crinum lily.

In Red Flower in a Vase Heade sets the flowers against a dark velvet curtain with a gold fringe that echoes the yellow stamens of the lily. Starlike acacia blossoms and a gold box add luxuriance to the composition.

Introduction | Seashore Views and Marshes | Early Still Lifes | Hummingbirds | Florida | Images