MARTIN JOHNSON HEADE (1819–1904)
A Glass of Roses on Gold Cloth, about 1883–1900
Oil on canvas, 22 1/8 1/2 x 14 1/4 in.
Signed twice (at lower right): M.J. Heade / M. J. Heade
RECORDED: Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., The Life and Works of Martin Johnson Heade (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1975), pp. 167 fig. 88 illus, 269 no. 292 illus. // Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., The Life and Work of Martin Johnson Heade: A Critical Analysis and Catalogue Raisonné (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2000), p. 331 no. 525 illus.
EXHIBITED: Peridot-Washburn Gallery, New York, 1972, Martin Johnson Heade, fig. 4, as “Red Roses in Glass” // R. W. Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport, Louisiana, 1974, Seventh Annual Christmas Exhibition // High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, 1989, Georgia Collects, p. 79 illus.
ON DEPOSIT: High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, 1979–91, no. 253-1979
EX COLL.: Henry Morrison Flagler, Palm Beach, Florida; to Flagler System, Palm Beach, Florida; [French & Co., New York, 1974]; [Central Picture Galleries, New York, 1979]; to private collection, 1979–91; to sale 6247, Sotheby’s, New York, December 5, 1991, no. 22; private collection; sale, Doyle, New York, December 3, 2003, no. 180 illus. in color; [Berry-Hill Galleries, New York]; to private collection, until the present
A Glass of Roses on Gold Cloth is one of relatively large group of red-rose still lifes that Heade painted from about 1883–1900, during his time in Florida. In his catalogue raisonné of Heade’s work, Theodore Stebbins records eleven such pictures (nos. 520–29 and 532). All of these are vertical-format paintings of approximately the same size, featuring small bunches of red roses set in a decorative water glass, arranged on a surface covered with a richly textured cloth.
A Glass of Roses on Gold Cloth was one of two of the above red-rose still lifes that was owned by the Florida industrialist, Henry Morrison Flagler (1830–1913). Flagler was a founder of Standard Oil, the “father of Miami,” the founder of the city of Palm Beach, Florida, and a major patron of Heade. Newly married and on his honeymoon, Flagler first visited St. Augustine, Florida, in December 1883, about nine months after Heade’s own arrival there. Flager quickly took an interest in St. Augustine real estate, building a suite of artists’ studios, one of which Heade summarily rented. Flagler went on to open a grand new hotel, the Ponce de Leon, and in 1886 he commissioned two large-format landscapes from Heade to decorate the hotel’s interior. The hotel announced the arrival of St. Augustine on the main stage, as it quickly became a major tourist attraction. After a lifetime of struggling for financial security, Heade now enjoyed a final period of prosperity. Flagler himself continued to purchase paintings from Heade, including a dozen or more still lifes, and because of the hotel Heade found a steady stream of customers from the hotel’s many visitors.