Parlor Painting Sunny Day on the Marsh
Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904) was raised in Pennsylvania and trained as an artist with the sign painter Edward Hicks. His earliest paintings reflect a decidedly provincial aesthetic. It wasn’t until his father sent him to Europe in the early 1840s that Heade developed a more sophisticated style. Among his best-known works are his views of salt marsh haystacks in Newburyport or New Jersey. Often, like this one of the Newburyport marshes, they are at once peaceful and threatening, with a tranquil scene in the foreground and storm clouds brewing on the horizon.