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Heade still life

Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904), Still Life with Roses, Lilies, and Forget-Me-Nots in a Glass Vase, 1869, oil on canvas, John Wilmerding Collection

The dramatic composition of the white lilies against the dark background creates an ominous, almost surreal mood, not unlike that found in Heade’s pictures of thunderstorms from the same period. In addition, the palpable vitality of the flowers suggests they are moving, foreshadowing the animated qualities of the artist's tropical orchid subjects of the early 1870s.


Martin Johnson Heade, Cattleya Orchid and Three Brazilian Hummingbirds, 1871, oil on wood, National Gallery of Art, Gift of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

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