French artist Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin (1860 – 1943) mastered impressionist techniques early in his career, but after time spent studying in Italy, he began “painting works full of poetry using a special technique with swift short …parallel brushstrokes giving them a vaporous touch.” (Findlay Galleries)
According to Christie’s, Henri Martin found particular inspiration in Venice, where he noted “reflections of the sky and buildings in the canals, and in the clear, strong light throughout the city.” For example, Christie’s writes about Venise, palais et gondoliers sur le Grand Canal:
Painstakingly composed of small touches of brilliant color, [this painting] illustrates Martin’s mastery of the Neo-Impressionist technique … [and] captures the vibrant effect of sunlight coming over the grand canal in subtle variations of perfectly harmonized tones.(Christie’s)
Harmony: Classical and Modern
In its composition, the painting translates the classical values of symmetry, order and structure. The presence of a strong vertical line in the center of the composition lends the image strength and rhythm. In its rigor, the work exemplifies how Martin was able to depict the life of his time in classical terms, while the technique—modern, fragmented and vibrant—adds a fleeting sense of beauty and a delicate harmony to the picture. (Christie’s)
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Best viewed At Sunnyside
- Henri Martin (1860-1943) French
- Post-Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism, Pointillism
- Venise, palais et gondoliers sur le Grand Canal
- likely painted 1909-1910
- signed ‘Henri Martin’ (lower right)
- oil on canvas
- 26 ¾ x 37 ¾ in. (68 x 96 cm.)
- Source: Christie’s
- Link: https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/henri-martin-venise-palais-et-gondoliers-su-6139922-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=6139922&sid=42b8afeb-7c07-4c68-a189-585988d88e7e
Christie’s, Sale 15973, “Henri Martin, Venise, palais et gondoliers sur le Grand Canal“, Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale, New York, 16 May 2018, https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/paintings/henri-martin-venise-palais-et-gondoliers-su-6139922-details.aspx?from=searchresults&intObjectID=6139922&sid=42b8afeb-7c07-4c68-a189-585988d88e7e (accessed 1 Feb 2019).
Findlay Galleries, “Henri Martin”, https://www.findlaygalleries.com/artists/period/henri-martin/# (accessed 3 Feb 2019).
Wikipedia contributors, “Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Henri-Jean_Guillaume_Martin&oldid=860428613 (accessed February 4, 2019).
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