Hummingbird and Apple Blossoms

Martin Johnson Heade American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 760

A peripheral member of the Hudson River School, Heade was unique in giving equal attention to landscape and still life throughout his career. He was devoted to natural history and first painted apple blossoms around 1865, when he included them in his extensive series of works featuring hummingbirds in a variety of habitats. In this example, the hummingbird is perched on a lower branch and silhouetted against the sky, as recommended by the English critic John Ruskin. The blossoms appear freshly studied from nature and have a light and airy mien, especially against the thick shroud of storm clouds.

Hummingbird and Apple Blossoms, Martin Johnson Heade (1819–1904), Oil on canvas, American

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