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Cattleya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds

Martin Johnson Heade, 1871

Image Size
Paper Type
Premium fine art paper: 100% cotton, acid-free, archival
Frame Type
Museum quality Giclée print
Premium fine art paper, 100% cotton, acid-free, archival
1" border
Image Size: 11.8" x 9" – Total Size: 13.8" x 11"
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In 1863, Martin Johnson Heade, an aspiring naturalist, made the first of three trips to Brazil to paint the brilliantly colored hummingbird, creating at least forty-five canvases, including Two Hummingbirds with Their Young, which documents a shimmering family of Sappho Comet hummingbirds. Although Heade’s plan to publish an illustrated book on the birds was never realized, the artist’s fascination continued unabated. Beginning about 1871 and continuing for over thirty years, he painted a series of pictures that combined hummingbirds with living orchids, such as this one. Drawing on his own earlier experience as a sometime-ornithologist, and using living orchids for the first time as a painter’s subject, Heade created a unique American genre.