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MARTIN JOHNSON HEADE, (AMERICAN 1819-1904), "ROSES LYING ON GOLD VELVET"

MARTIN JOHNSON HEADE, (AMERICAN 1819-1904), "ROSES LYING ON GOLD VELVET"

Item Description:

MARTIN JOHNSON HEADE
(AMERICAN 1819-1904)
"ROSES LYING ON GOLD VELVET"
Signed 'M.J. Heade' bottom center right, oil on canvas
12 x 20 in. (30.5 x 50.8cm)
PROVENANCE:
Victor Spark Fine Arts, New York, New York.
Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Avery W. Gordon, Detroit, Michigan.
Christie's, New York, sale of December 3, 1982, lot 72.
Acquired directly from the above sale.
Collection of Mrs. T.R. Ratrie, Malden, West Virginia.
Collection of Nancy B. Nix, New York, New York.
Private Collection, Greenwich, Connecticut.
Shannon's, Milford, sale of April 30, 2009, lot 39.
Acquired directly from the above sale.
Private Collection, Virginia.
LITERATURE:
Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., The Life and Work of Martin Johnson Heade: A Critical Analysis and Catalogue Raisonné, New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2000, p. 333, no. 535 (illustrated).
NOTE:
While his fellow contemporaries of the Hudson River School only specialized in one genre, Heade was unique in devoting equal attention to both landscape and still life painting throughout his long career. He first started painting floral still lifes during his stay in New York City in 1858. Although he was mostly known for his landscapes at the time, his floral subjects received high praise from critics, the Boston Transcript reporting: "At Williams and Everett's may be seen floral pieces by Heade [that] are remarkably truthful, and betray a most careful and earnest study of nature. They are the best specimen of flower painting ever seen."
Heade painted several types of flowers. Although critics are still unsure of the artist's original intentions through his choices of specimens and vases, Heade seems to have favored roses. Similarly to George Lambin, "the other great rose specialist," Heade enjoyed depicting the flower's subtle hues of red and delicate petals. In the 1870s, he started to simplify his work, and focused on the very dramatic Général Jacqueminot rose, a wild flower characteristic for its brilliant quality.
The present work highlights the artist's departure from earlier sophisticated themes, and yearning for simpler compositions. Here, Heade depicts six beautiful red rose stems on a bare table top, which is delicately covered by luxurious gold velvet. The flowers, all isolated from their natural environment, shine against an austere black background. The true subject of the painting is therefore not the branches themselves, but rather the effect of the warm light on the surfaces and textures of the leaves, blossoms and shiny drapery, thanks to careful and deliberate composition.
Heade used this floral composition as a prototype which he would then use over and over in a series of rose paintings, similar to what he did with his scenes of marshes and orchids.

About The Artist:

MARTIN JOHNSON HEADE
(AMERICAN 1819-1904)

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MARTIN JOHNSON HEADE, (AMERICAN 1819-1904), "ROSES LYING ON GOLD VELVET"

Listed price: $40,000.00
 

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