Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904). Cattleya Orchid and Three Brazilian Hummingbirds, 1871. Oil on wood, 14 x 18 inches (35 x 46 cm).
Unbelievably, Heade was virtually unknown during his lifetime and lost to history before his painting Thunder Storm on Narragansett Bay was rediscovered in 1943.
Heade studied with Thomas Hicks, nephew of folk artist Edward Hicks (creator of the many Peaceable Kingdom paintings of Eden). An excellent observer and naturalist, Heade’s many paintings of South American birds and flowers seem to constitute his own vision of Eden.