Passion Flowers With The Three Hummingbirds Analysis

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Andy Gjata Museum Paper
Michael Coyle Art appreciation 1301
The subject I will be writing about is Martin Johnson Heade’s painting called “Passion Flowers with the Three Hummingbirds.” It is believed to be painted around 1875. The medium is oil on canvas height 17 ¼ in. (43.8 cm); width 22 1/8 in. (56.2 cm.). It is part of the American Art exhibit located in the San Antonio Museum of Art. This painting is part of a series of many pieces of art that depicted the Central and South American forests

Martin Johnson Heade was born in 1819 in a village called Lumberville, Pennsylvania. It

is believed that he was taught by “American folk artist and Quaker icon Edward Hicks, who also

lived in the same area.” He painted his first portrait
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The top half of the painting show dark and grey storm clouds there are two mountains peaks one overlapping the other and covered by thick foliage. Martin Johnson Heade did use naturalism and atmospheric perspective.
As the two mountains shifts towards the background we can identify the loss of detail, loss on contrast and the hues are darker almost matching the greyish clouds above.
The two atmospheric mountains next to each other also represent symmetry and more specifically asymmetry balance.

The rainforest covers about two thirds of the painting. In the bottom right hand corner, there is a vine wrapped around a tree bark with two high saturated red passion flowers. They sit on the tree barks that take most of the lower half of the painting. The bark and flowers are much larger in size, which gives the viewer the impression that it is closer than the mountains. Next to the flowers are three hummingbirds. One hummingbird has a bright green body and a red head and tail. This hummingbird has its wings blurred, which give the illusion that it is mid-flight. Next to it is another royal purple hummingbird that is sitting on the end of the left bark and is peering at the first bird. The last hummingbird is also sitting on the bark, but located on a lower level than the previous two birds looking towards the other two. Martin uses shading as the lower bird is darker (lower value) in color. The Bark, vine, Passion flowers and hummingbirds are very high in contrast. This emphasizes the focal point on the painting with its high contrast and

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