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Martin Johnson Heade

Martin Johnson Heade: Haying at Sunet<br>Sold at Eldred's in 2008 for $1,060,000

Haying at Sunet
Sold at Eldred's in 2008 for $1,060,000


1819 - 1904

Martin Johnson Heade is widely considered one of the most important American painters of the 19th century. Along with contemporaries such as Sanford Gifford, Fitz Henry Lane, and Frederick Church, Heade is thought of as one the leaders of what 20th century scholars term “American Luminism”. Although he also specialized in beautifully-detailed still lifes and studies of South American hummingbirds, he is perhaps best known for his brilliant sunset scenes of haystack-strewn salt marshes along the New England coast.

It is thought that Heade painted over 130 marsh landscapes throughout his career, making them his most popular subject. “Haying on the Marsh” is typical of many of these works in its major elements: a dramatic sunset over a low horizon, and a salt marsh divided by sculpted haystacks and winding waterways. What is less common in this work is the artist’s choice to prominently feature figures in the landscape.

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