Martin Johnson Heade
American Hudson River School Painter, 1819-1904 Martin Johnson Heade (August 11, 1819-September 4, 1904) was a prolific American painter known for his salt marsh landscapes, seascapes, portraits of tropical birds, and still lifes. His painting style and subject matter, while derived from the romanticism of the time, is regarded by art historians as a significant departure from that of his peers.
Art historians have come to disagree with the common view that Heade is a Hudson River School painter, a view given wide currency by Heade's inclusion in a landmark exhibition of Hudson River School landscapes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1987.
The leading Heade scholar and author of Heade's catalogue raisonn??, Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., wrote some years after the 1987 Hudson River School exhibition that "...other scholars??myself included??have increasingly come to doubt that Heade is most usefully seen as standing within that school."
According to the Heade catalogue raisonn??, only around 40 percent of his paintings were landscapes. The remaining majority were still lifes, paintings of birds, and portraits, subjects unrelated to the Hudson River School. Of Heade's landscapes, perhaps only 25 percent were painted of traditional Hudson River School subject matter.
Heade had less interest in topographically accurate views than the Hudson River painters, and instead focused on mood and the effects of light. Stebbins writes, "If the paintings of the shore as well as the more conventional compositions...might lead one to think of Heade as a Hudson River School painter, the [marsh scenes] make it clear that he was not." Related Paintings of Martin Johnson Heade :. | Magnolia | Two Humming Birds | Orchids and Hummingbirds | Sudden Showers, Newbury Marshes | Orchid and Hummingbird near a Mountain Waterfall |
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Henry Benbridge born October 1743 died February 1812), early American portrait painter, was born in Philadelphia, the only child of James and Mary (Clark) Benbridge. When he was seven years old, his mother, who had been left a widow, was married to Thomas Gordon, a wealthy Scot. The boy's artistic talent was encouraged. He made decorative designs for his stepfather's drawing-room which were much admired. When he was fourteen years old he may have watched John Wollaston paint Gordon's portrait. It has been plausibly argued that young Benbridge had instruction from Wollaston, since his earliest known portrait, that of his half-sister Rebecca Gordon, "seems to hark back to Wollaston." When he was 21, Benbridge was sent to Italy, where he studied with Pompeo Batoni and Anton Raphael Mengs. In 1769, on commission from James Boswell, biographer of Dr. Samuel Johnson, he made a portrait of Pasquale Paoli in Corsica which he took to London. It was exhibited (1769) at the Free Society of Artists, and from it three mezzotints were scraped and published with the artist's name signed "Bembridge." Like other young Americans he was encouraged by Benjamin West. He wrote, on December 7, 1769, to his stepfather: "Upon my arrival I waited upon Mr. West who received me with a sort of brotherly affection, as did my cousin, Mrs. West." Impelled, apparently, by a longing to rejoin his family, he left England in 1770, bearing from West the following note of recommendation to Francis Hopkinson: "By Mr. Benbridge you will receive these few lines. You will find him an Ingenous artist and an agreeable Companion. His merit in the art must procure him great incouragement and much esteem. I deare say it will give you great pleasure to have an ingenous artist resident amongst you."
Elizabeth Ann Timothy (Mrs. William Williamson), watercolor on ivory of 1775In Philadelphia Benbridge married a Miss Sage and was admitted on January 18, 1771, to membership in the American Philosophical Society, of which Benjamin Franklin was a founder. He painted the large portrait of the Gordon family, with six figures, one of his masterpieces. Suffering, however, from asthma, he sought a more congenial climate and moved to Charleston, South Carolina, where he succeeded Jeremiah Theus (d. May 18, 1774) as the popular portrait painter of South Carolina. There he made many likenesses of southern men and women, several of which have been popularly attributed to John Singleton Copley, an artist who never painted in the South and who left America in 1774. Around 1800 Benbridge settled in Norfolk, Virginia, whence he made frequent visits to his native city. At Norfolk he gave to Thomas Sully his first lessons in oil painting. He had previously instructed Thomas Coram of Charleston. Sully describes his master as "a portly man of good address - gentlemanly in his deportment." Benbridge's health is said by Hart to have declined in middle age. Dunlap's assertion that his last years were passed "in obscurity and poverty" has been disputed.