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Martin Johnson Heade American  1819 - 1904
Marsh Sunset  1860-1861
Oil on Canvas
19 x 31 inches, framed
Signed lower right "M J Heade"
Category: Paintings - American
Era: 19th Century
Style: Luminism
"Marsh Sunset," c. 1860-61
Oil on canvas
10.25 x 22.25 inches
19 x 31 inches with period frame
Signed lower right "M J Heade"

The artist to
His dealer, Miss Weeks, Philadelphia, 1860s, to
Private collection, Chester, Pennsylvania, by 1870
By descent in the family to
Vance Jordan, New York to
Private collection, New England

Theodore E. Stebbins, The Life and Works of Martin Johnson Heade. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975, pp. 42-56.

Noted Heade expert, Dr. Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., of the Harvard University Art Museums and The Martin Johnson Heade Catalogue Raisonne Project, has authenticated and admired this painting.

"Marsh Sunset" is in excellent condition. The canvas bears its original stretcher. The surface of the canvas is smooth and lustrous. There is no restoration beyond 2 small dots along the upper frame edge. Importantly, the conservator has found that: "All of Heades glazes are in perfect state."As a result of the pristine condition, this magnificent Luminist painting is astonishingly responsive to light and dynamic. The elegant frame is of the period, distinctive and very well suited to the painting.

"Marsh Sunset" by Martin Johnson Heade is a rare masterpiece of American painting. This luminous gem is in excellent condition with a gorgeous period frame. The painting enjoys a concise and distinguished provenance. Encompassing all of Heade's signature elements, the receding marshland, the winding river, the haystacks, the billowing clouds on the flat horizon and the radiant sun reflecting on elongated clouds in an expansive blue sky, "Marsh Sunset" is definitive of Heades best-known and most highly regarded landscape painting. Heade expert, and former Director of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Ted Stebbins has indicated the location is Newburyport, a favored scene. Because the painting dates to 1860, it displays the full color spectrum and eschews any of the maudlin elements (abandoned hay wagons, wagon wheels in decay) that appear in the later, Civil War year paintings. Exultant and robust, this image of the American landscape is an outstanding and rare example by the American Master.

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