Newburyport Marshes

about 1866–76
Martin Johnson Heade (American, 1819–1904)


33.65 x 66.04 cm (13 1/4 x 26 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View





In spite of the modest size of his marsh paintings, Heade emphasized the expanse of the view by using canvases that are more than twice as wide as they are high. He also typically avoided traditional “framing” devices such as trees at either side of the composition, further underscoring the breadth of space. Here, he also employed a low viewpoint and carefully laid in the landscape with horizontal strokes of paint. The haystacks lead the eye into the distance, and the storm rushes from the darkened foreground to the still-sunlit middle ground, where farmers race to finish their harvest before the rain.


Lower left: M J. Heade.


The artist; with Harry Shaw Newman, New York, 1947; Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I., 1947; to MFA, 1964, bequest of Maxim Karolik.

Credit Line

Bequest of Maxim Karolik