While early examples of Heade’s still life arrangements were largely Victorian in treatment, using a profusion of blooms set in ornate vessels, Rose in a Glass is an example of his later method of concentrating on a single specimen and its descriptive features. The sparse setting and shadowy background, and the intimacy of the canvas’s small size allow the viewer to focus on the natural beauty of the rose itself – on the way light falls across its soft petals, on the graceful line of its stem refracting through the water, and on its fiery red color burning intensely against the darkness.
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Private collection, Dorchester, Massachusetts
To Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 25995, September 1979
To private collection, Kingston, Massachusetts, February 1984 to present
Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., The Life and Work of Martin Johnson Heade, A Critical Analysis and Catalogue Raisonné (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000), illus. p. 319, #479, as Red Rose and Buds
An American Flower Show, Heritage Plantation of Sandwich, Sandwich, Massachusetts, May 19 – October 14, 1980, Cat. 19, illustrated