Museum Purchase, with the aid of the Sylvia E. Ross Fund
Martin Johnson Heade’s views of the salt marshes near Newburyport, Massachusetts are among his finest works. In these paintings, Heade took the same basic elements—haystacks, flat marshland, a glassy river, and open sky—and arranged them in different ways to achieve a series of harmoniously balanced, horizontal compositions. For a nation torn apart by the Civil War, Heade’s salt marsh landscape offered a vision of nature inhabited by an orderly and benevolent deity in which only the passing rain cloud alludes to the nation’s troubles. Heade was less well-known in his day than other Hudson River School painters, yet his work has enjoyed wide critical praise since its rediscovery in the 1940s.
Help us make our collections more accessible by providing keywords to describe this artwork. The BCMA uses the
Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus to
provide consistent keywords. Enter a keyword in the field below and you will be prompted with a list of possible matching AAT preferred terms.