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Summer Showers

Shortly after he turned to landscape subjects in the late 1850s, Martin Johnson Heade began to gravitate to the lowland coastal salt marshes of the American Northeast, making his studies of the sites in the summer and early fall, when the harvesting of grass and hay took place. Finding the horizontal lines and shifting atmosphere of the salt marshes visually appealing, he produced more than a hundred views of them over the course of his career. Here Heade captured the changing effects of light and weather that lend the scene an immediacy and informality uncommon in contemporaneous works by more prominent Hudson River School painters. The band of foreground clouds is effectively realistic, framing the distant view and punning on the margin of shadow customarily cast by the picture frames of the period.


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