Tropical Landscape with Ten Hummingbirds

Newburyport, MA, USA
Oil on canvas
45.7 x 76.2 cm
Roy Nutt Family Trust
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A self-described “monomaniac” for hummingbirds, Martin Johnson Heade traveled extensively throughout South America documenting the tropics. In Tropical Landscape with Ten Hummingbirds, Heade has given his avid interest in the diminutive birds full rein, depicting eight different species as well as ten different kinds of passion flowers. The species of birds and flowers are drawn from such disparate locations as Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Jamaica, and the West Indies. Painted together in a geographically impossible assemblage, Tropical Landscape with Ten Hummingbirds nevertheless offers scientific accuracy and detail in its creative, synthetic approach to the depiction of equatorial flora and fauna.