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Martin Johnson Heade. (1819 – 1904). 
Cattleya Orchid and 3 Brazilian Hummingbirds. (1871).

Hudson River School

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Martin Johnson Heade. (1819 – 1904). Cattleya Orchid and 3 Brazilian Hummingbirds. (1871).

Martin Johnson Heade is a painter of the Hudson River school. Influenced by the tropical paintings of Frederic Edwin Church it goes on also in South America. It represents landscapes but also the details. Knowing to paint still life and the landscapes it combines the 2 kinds in its painting where tropical birds, especially the hummingbirds, are beside beautiful flowers, often orchids. The orchid is the usual name of one of the most important families of plants with flowers.The estimates vary from 400 to 800 kinds represented by 15.000 to 25.000 species. The Cattleya orchis is one of the most cultivated kinds; one created a great number of hybrids of it. The hummingbird is the usual name of more than 300 species of small birds of the American continent. They are smallest of the birds. Many species measure less than 8 cm and weigh between 2 and 5 grams. Able to beat wings up to 78 times a second, the hummingbird accomplishes a hovering or even can move back in front of the flower of which it takes nectar thanks to its extensible tongue.

The point of view of the spectator is at the same time at the level of the horizon, in the middle of the orchid and between the 2 hummingbirds top. This painting with this splendid colors is at the same time a still life in before plan and a tropical landscape with the background.

The Cattleya orchid is on the left tension field between 2 natural points of interest. The couple of hummingbirds and the nest are on the right tension field them also between 2 natural points of interest. Framing is perfect.

The sky occupies a little more of the higher third of the painting, the nature and the birds a little less of the lower third.

The painting is built on the ascending diagonal. On both sides of this one a space for the flower, another space for the birds.

Details : 

This multicoloured hummingbird is an intruder. The multiple colors indicate that it is a male.

The couple of hummingbird, the male is that which has red under the neck, defends its nest and its territory with eagerness.

The orchises have 3 sepals and 3 petals which have the same coloured aspect. The 3 sepals (external floral vertical) and 2 of the 3 petals (floral vertical interns) have even form and even dyed. The third petal, larger, of different form, generally with three lobes, is variously coloured. This labelle (or lip), is located at the lower part of the flower; it is used as platform of landing for the insects or here the birds, attracted by its particular color and its form, like by its odor.

Similar Paintings : 
Martin Johnson Heade. Orchids and Hummingbird. (1875). 

Martin Johnson Heade. Hummingbirds and Flowers of Passion.