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Hummingbird with Cattleya and Dendrobium Orchids

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Hummingbird with Cattleya and Dendrobium Orchids

ca. 1890
22 1/4 x 14 3/8 in. (56.5 x 36.5 cm)

Martin Johnson Heade
United States (Lumberville, PA, 1819 - 1904, St. Augustine, FL)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Harris K. Prior Memorial Fund
Accession Number: 1976.3
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Location: Not currently on view

Two masterpieces of nature – the hummingbird and the orchid – were subjects that Martin Johnson Heade painted repeatedly. Beginning in 1863, Heade made the first of three trips to Brazil to paint the bird that remained a life-long obsession. Heade wrote, “A few years after my appearance in this breathing world I was attacked by the all-absorbing hummingbird craze and it has never left me since.”

The exotic South American jungle was a far cry from the marshes and fields of Heade’s native New England, but both landscapes inspired his passion for the natural world and nurtured the intertwined development of his scientific interest and his artistic brilliance.

[Gallery label, 2009]

Artist's signature, lower right: M. J. Heade

Artist; Joseph Bradley Heed (artist's half-brother); to his son, Charles Rittenhouse Heed, Philadelphia, PA; to his daughter, Mrs. Renée Heed Grant, Gulph Mills, PA; estate of Mrs. Renée Heed Grant, 1972; consigned to Chapellier Galleries, New York, 1972; purchased by the Gallery in 1976

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