Description: Henri Jean Guillaume Martin, French, 1860-1943 - La Bastide-du-Vert
Signed lower left: Henri Martin
From 1890 onwards landscapes played an increasingly important role in the paintings of Henri Martin. In 1900 the artist bought a large 17th century house in the village of La Bastide-du-Vert near Cahors in Lot in the southwest of France. Called Marquayrol this house was Martin’s favorite retreat from Paris between the months of May and November. Set on the side of a hill Marquayrol overlooked the village below and the valley beyond where tall poplars stood. Martin built a studio on the grounds not far from the main house. He lined the path from the house to his studio with cypress trees which reminded him of the countryside around Florence which he loved so much. It was here in the studio that Martin spent long hours working. From this vantage point Martin painted some of his finest views of his beloved valley, as the seasons passed. In this relaxed and pastoral atmosphere, Martin faithfully recorded the ever shifting light with the subtly changing tonal qualities of the landscape. On occasion he would bring his easel into the village to paint more intimate scenes of the small cottages and stone bridges that cross the little river running the town of La Bastide-du-Vert. Years later the poet and critic Andre Breton, who was also a leading exponent of Surrealism in France, bought Marquarol as his home.
Location of Origin: Europe
Medium/Materials: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 35 ½ x 32 ½ in. - Framed: 44 x 41 in.
Primary Classification: Fine Art : Paintings : Landscapes
Secondary Classification: Modern and Contemporary Art
Expertise: Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin was born on August 5, 1860 in the southern French city of Toulouse. Even though his father was only a cabinet maker by trade and opposed to his son becoming an artist, Martin was able to attend L’École des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse where he studied under Jules Garipuy (1817-1893), who had been academically trained in the French Salons of Paris. Martin also studied for a time with Eugene Delacroix. With the encouragement of his teacher Garipuy Martin traveled to Paris in 1879 to apprentice in the atelier of Jean Paul Laurens (1838-1921), one of the most celebrated and gifted classically trained teachers in Paris.
In 1883 Martin received his first medal at the Paris Salon. In 1886 he held his first exhibition at the Salon and was awarded a scholarship to tour Italy where he visited the major museums to observe and to study the Renaissance masters. Martin discovered for the first time in his artistic career a poetry and a light in these works. He was especially transfixed by the frescoes of Ambrogio Giotto (1266-1336) which adorn the walls of many of the churches of Italy.
Martin returned from Italy with a renewed vigor and a newly awakened sense of light. His brushstrokes became more bold and dashing. His color palette was both heightened and lightened. With a sense of purpose and a more clearly defined sense of style Marin became the happy recipient of both critical artistic acclaim and numerous awards.
In 1889 Martin adopted the pointillism techniques very much in the style of Paul Signac and Georges Seurat.
In 1900 Henri Martin purchased a large 17th century house in the village of La Bastide-du-Vert in the southwest of France. Called Marquayrol this house was Martin’s favorite retreat from Paris. From his perch on the side of a hill Martin painted some of his finest views of his beloved valley, as the seasons passed. In this relaxed and pastoral atmosphere he faithfully recorded the ever shifting light and subtly changing tonal qualities of the landscape. On occasion he would bring his easel into the village to paint more intimate scenes of the small cottages and stone bridges that cross the little river running through La Bastide-du-Vert
When he was not busy in his Paris studio or at his country retreat, he often created large-scale murals on commission from municipalities and private individuals. Two of his most important murals are in the Hotel de Ville in Paris and the capitol of Toulouse. It was here in his beloved retreat that Martin died on November 11, 1943.
Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, 1896Légion de Honneur, Cross, 1905; Commander, 1914; Institut Francais, Member 1918
Paris Salon, 1883 (medal), 1886La Fete de la Federation, 1889 Galerie Mancini, 1895 (solo)Salon de la Rose Croix, 1892Munich Secessionist Exhibition, 1893Mancini Gallery, 1895La Libre Esthetique, Brussels, 1896Vienna Secessionist Exhibition, 1898L’Exposition Universelle, 1900 (Grand Prix)Galerie Georges Petit, Paris 1910“Eden Close At Hand, The Paintings of Henri Martin”, Anderson Galleries, Beverly Hills, California, 2005-2006.
Museums and Public Collections:
Art Institute of ChicagoCapitol, ToulouseHotel de Ville, ParisIndianapolis Museum of ArtMinneapolis Institute of ArtsMusée des Augustins, ToulouseMusée de BayonneMusée de BeziersMusée des Beaux-Arts de BordeauxMusée de BuffaloMusée de CarcassonneMusée de DijonMusée de DouaiMusée de LilleMusée de MontpellierMusée de MontréalMusée de MulhouseMusée d’OrsayMusée de NantesNorton Museum of Art, West Palm Bach, FloridaThyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
Provenance: Kaplan Gallery, LondonHammer Galleries, New YorkMaurice Sternberg Galleries, New YorkWaterhouse & Dodd, LondonPrivate Collection, Newport Beach, California