Martin Johnson Heade painted several artworks depicting the Rhode Island coast, and his painting titled Approaching Storm: Beach Near Newport is an example of his work. This painting captures the approaching storm’s energy through a scene of the marshy coastline that is bathed in a moody light. The impending change in weather creates a sense of urgency, and one can almost hear the rumbling thunder in the distance.
Heade was primarily known for his paintings of tidal marshes along the eastern US coast, which he preferred over landscapes typical to the Hudson River School. In this painting, he presents us with a serpentine stream winding its way through marshland and creating small pockets of water that reflect a cloudy sky.
Approaching Storm: Beach Near Newport is part of the collection at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Heade made significant contributions to American art during his time by introducing new elements like atmospheric lighting, color schemes, and moods in his landscapes to capture nature as it happens. The artwork continues to inspire artists globally due to its depiction of nature’s moodiness during an imminent storm approaching over coastal life.