Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin (French, 1860-1943)
La Tour de Collioure
Signed "Henri Martin" l.r., titled on a presentation plaque, dated to c. 1920 on a certificate that accompanies the work (see below).
Oil on canvas, 35 3/8 x 43 1/4 in. (90.0 x 110.0 cm), framed.
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist in the 1920s; private collection, London; Hammer Galleries, New York; to the current private collection.
N.B. Originally from Toulouse, Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin ventured to Paris in 1879 to further his art studies. In 1885, he traveled to Italy and painted with artists Edmond Aman-Jean and Ernest Laurent who were experimenting with the pointillist painting technique employed by their close friend Georges Seurat. In this method, artists applied color in small, individual brushstrokes. The dots of color were meant to mix in the eye of the viewer to approximate the quality of natural light. Martin returned to Paris in 1889 and focused his efforts on landscape compositions using the short, feathery brush strokes of fragmented color that he had adopted in Italy.
In 1900, Martin purchased a home in the south of France nears the city of Cahors. He spent May through November there for the rest of his life, painting vibrant, sunny views of charming stone buildings, stands of poplars, and scenes from his day trips throughout the region. In this sweeping view of the bay in the village of Collioure in southwest France, Martin captured the intense hues of summer light on the Mediterranean town and beach in the foreground and on the Pyrenees mountains rising in the distance. The tower of the church of Notre-Dame-des-Anges, which served as both a lighthouse and a bell tower, sits to the right of the shoreline. Martin probably painted this canvas around 1920 and may have been familiar with works done by Henri Matisse and André Derain in Collioure in 1905.
The work is accompanied by the photo-certificate from Cyrille Martin, son of Jacques Martin-Ferrières and only grandson of the artist.
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