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 Charles Louis Heyde  (1822 - 1892)

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Lived/Active: Vermont      Known for: landscape

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Ad Code: 3
Charles Louis Heyde
from Auction House Records.
Adirondack Mountains from Willard St From Old Sketch Burlington Bay Lake Champlain
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information at the suggestion of E. Thomas Pierce is from the artist's website: Pierce and Eleazer D. Durfee wrote the catalogue raisonne for the major retrospective of Heyde's work at the Robert Hull Fleming Museum in Burlington, Vermont, in January-June 2001:

A prominent New England landscape painter, Charles Heyde lived in Vermont from the early 1850s until 1892, and became one of that state's most prominent late 19th-century landscape painters. In 1863, he was commissioned by the State of Vermont to paint the Vermont Coat of Arms.

On an August evening in 1852, the young artist Charles Louis Heyde and his wife, Hannah, sister of poet Walt Whitman, stepped down from the train at North Dorset, Vermont, and into the landscape that would be the focus of his painting career for the next forty years. The artist was traveling from Brooklyn, New York, to seek out the inspiration of the mountains.

Heyde was essentially a landscape artist following the tradition of the Hudson River School, whose world view was predicated on the belief that Nature was the dominant force, subduing man. In Heyde's early paintings, man, if featured at all, is dwarfed by Nature in the tradition of romantic art. The evidence of man's labor-the stumps; the trees cut for cultivation, fuel or potash; the roads, bridges and trains-all take second place to the greater power of Nature.

Charles Louis Heyde was a "quiet" painter, not prone to pyrotechnics and fancy flourishes. Maturing as a painter during the heyday of the second generation Hudson River School, he was more akin to the earlier Kensett, Johnson, or Durand than to contemporaries such as Frederic Church or Sanford Gifford. While the introduction of vibrant cadmium-based pigments in the 1850s had a pronounced effect on the Hudson River School and American art in general, Heyde painted as though they hardly existed. This, coupled with Heyde's practice of heavily mixing or glazing vibrant colors with neutral white, black, or earth colors, gives his paintings their typically muted, serene appearance.

Heyde intimately coupled the nature of his relationship to subject matter with his technique, style, and palette. In the earlier paintings, Heyde appears involved with the reality and details of life. Colors capture natural nuances of light and shadow that freeze a particular moment in time. Brushwork and impasto imitate the actual structure and detail of subject matter that plays an active part in Heyde's life.

An article featuring Charles Heyde was in "Magazine Antiques", June 1972.

Relative to the retrospective exhibition at the Robert Hull Fleming Museum, Thomas Pierce noted that many dedicated people assisted in this project.
"Eleazer Durfee helped me in locating all of the 154 paintings to date and this part of the project continues. If anyone should be credited I believe that it would be Barbara Knapp Hamblett who spent 10 years (1965-1975) researching her thesis on the life of Charles Louis Heyde. Most of our knowledge of his life came from her work. She did a updated bio of Heyde for the catalogue raisonne. Her thesis can be found at the University of Vermont Library in Special Collections."

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