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Cattleya Orchard and Three Brazilian Hummingbirds, by Martin Johnson Heade, 1871.
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Lichen covers dead branches; moss drips from trees; and, a blue-gray mist veils the distant jungle. An opulent pink orchid with light-green stems and pods dominates the left foreground. To the right, perched near a nest on a branch, are a Sappho Comet, green with a yellow throat and brilliant red tail feathers, and two green-and-pink Brazilian Amethysts.

Credit: Courtesy of The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 1982.73.1

Cattleya Orchard and Three Brazilian Hummingbirds, by Martin Johnson Heade, 1871. Heade painted some forty-five small paintings of exotic bird species. In 1999 the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston paid $1.25 million for a Heade painting of a magnolia that had once been used to cover a hole in the wall of a house in Indiana.

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