Martin Johnson Heade, Sunlight and Shadow: The Newbury Marshes, c. 1871-1875, oil on canvas, John Wilmerding Collection
Newbury is at the mouth of the Parker River in
Massachusetts and just south of Newburyport, the site of Heade's first
paintings of marshlands made around 1859. Heade executed well over one
hundred marsh subjects during his career, exploring numerous arrangements
of his theme's basic elements of pasture, haystacks, and sky. His
paintings offer nuanced descriptions of the tides, meteorological
phenomena, and other natural forces that shaped the appearance of the
swamp, but he also shows how men hunted, fished, and hayed the marshes
and used them as pasture
for their cattle. With its lurid pink thunderheads looming ominously
over a peaceful landscape, Sunlight
and Shadow: The Newbury Marshes unites the
aesthetic categories of the sublime and the beautiful.
planning a visit| the collection | exhibitions | online tours | education | programs & events
resources | gallery shop | NGAkids | search | help | contact us | site map | what's new | home Copyright © National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.