Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Henri Martin

Henri Martin
(1860 - 1943)
Chacun sa chimère 1891
Oil on canvas 380 x 647
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux

Henri Martin
(1860 - 1943)
Sérénité ou Le Bois Sacré (The Elysium Fields of Virgil`s Aeneid). 1899
Oil on canvas H. 3.47 ; L. 5.44 m.
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Henri Martin
La Porte verte 1913
Oil on canvas 80 cm x 31 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes

Henri Martin
L'été (part of the triptyque des Saisons)
Salle Henri Martin, Le Capitole, Toulouse

By the age of twenty-three, Henri Martin had already won a gold medal at the Salon of 1883. Two years later he received a scholarship to work in Italy.

At the 1900 World Fair, he was awarded the Grand Prize for his work

Sérénité is a symbolist work using Naturalist and Impressionist techniques

In 1900, Martin bought a property in Labastide-du-Vert, a small village North of Cahors near Toulouse.

On the thirty acres of land stood a large seventeenth century house and Martin became extremely attached to this property. The acquisition of Marquayrol marked a turning point in Martin's career - he abandoned allegory and myth to fully devote himself to the representation of nature.

Martin once said:

"My preoccupation with rendering atmospheric effects increased later, after three months in the country, face to face with nature. Trying to capture its diverse effects, I was compelled to paint it differently. The natural light, now brilliant, then diffuse, which softened the contours of figures and landscape, powerfully obliged me to translate it any way I could, but other than using a loaded brush, through pointille and the breaking up of tone."

Martin's canvases from this period are characteristically joyous expressions of light, colour and texture.

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