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Tall, billowing, lavender-purple and shell-pink clouds line the distant horizon over a vast plain of flat grassy land in this horizontal landscape painting. Closest to us to the lower left, a tree with a gnarled trunk and round, sage-green canopy sits mostly in shadow. A river curves from near the tree to cut across most of the landscape in a tight S-shape. One plump haystack, shaped like a giant teardrop, sits near a curve of the river in the vivid, lemon-lime field, to our left of center. One brown and one white cow graze across the river, to our right. Above tawny-brown hills lining the horizon, sunlight from our left turns the tops of the band of clouds pale pink, and the undersides are grayish-purple. The sky above is turquoise. The artist signed the lower right corner, “M J Heade.”

Martin Johnson Heade, Sunlight and Shadow: The Newbury Marshes, c. 1871/1875, oil on canvas, John Wilmerding Collection, 2010.74.1

Martin Johnson Heade's Sunlight and Shadow: The Newbury Marshes

Drawing workshop

Sketchbook Club

  • Tuesday, February 28, 2023
  • 5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
  • Virtual
  • Registration Required

Sketchbook Club is recommended for families with children of all ages. Registration is required. 

Join us as we sketch inspired by Martin Johnson Heade's Sunlight and Shadow: The Newbury Marshes.

This is one club where you don’t need a membership to join! National Gallery of Art teaching artists lead free, 30-minute sketches inspired by works of art from the National Gallery’s collection. Add new drawings to your sketchbook or just doodle along with us as we explore a different prompt each session.


All you need are a pencil and paper. We encourage you to bring colored pencils, crayons, markers, or paints as well, but these are optional.


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