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Henri-Jean Martin

 (1860 - 1943)
Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin was active/lived in France.  HenriJean Martin is known for neo-impressionist figure and landscape painting.

Henri-Jean Martin

Biography from Schiller & Bodo

French 1860-1943

HENRI-JEAN-GUILLAUME MARTIN features prominently in the development of neo-impressionism and was a successful artist throughout his life time.

From his hometown of Toulouse, Henri Martin won a scholarship to study in Paris where he entered the atelier* of Jean-Paul Laurent and soon began to exhibit at the Salon des Artistes Francais*.  In 1885 he traveled to Italy where he was first exposed to the pointillist* canvases of Edmond Aman-Jean and Ernest Laurent. Stimulated by his trip to Italy, Martin began to develop his own style of short feathery strokes of fragmented color, a divisionist-inspired technique that changed little over the rest of his life.  At the same time the artist started to attach a greater importance to landscape in his compositions.

A popular artist, Martin was commissioned to paint large murals for both the City Hall of Toulouse and the Palais Royal in Paris.  He had several exhibits at the Galerie Georges Petit and a retrospective exhibition at the Petit Palais in 1935. Having been born in Toulouse, Martin found that he missed the light of southern France terribly and dreamed of a house where he could live and paint.

In 1900, at the age of 40, he found this ideal house in a small village in the department of Lot called La Bastide du Vert located near Cahors.  The 17th century stone manor named Marquayrol, or "Mas Cayroux" ('the house of pebbles' in the old southern French dialect) was situated on sixty acres atop a hill and had all the advantages he was looking for.

Over the next forty years, Marquayrol became Martin's favorite summer retreat where he would retire from Paris between the months of May and November. Martin depicted every single feature of the house: the round pool and its statue, the terrace, the pergola, the vineyard and the gate were all to become recurrent subjects in his work. Martin's palette of bright oranges and greens captures the intense sunlight and pulsating colors of southern France, while the brushstrokes, fragmented colors and cool shadows help explain Martin's frequent classification as a follower of Georges Seurat.


Musee d'Orsay, Paris
Musee de Petit Palais, Paris
Musee Carnavalet, Paris
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux
Musee d'Art Moderne, Strasbourg
Musee des Augustins, Toulouse
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Brest


* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

Biography from Anderson Galleries, Inc.
In 1900 Henri Martin purchased the home known as Marquayrol overlooking the Village of La Bastide du Vert not far from his native Toulouse. Henri Martin would produce many of his most memorable paintings in these environs during the remainder of his life. The ancient arched bridges, charming stone buildings and stands of poplar trees along banks of the river would become to Henri Martin what Giverny was to Claude Monet: an unending source of inspiration, wonder and beauty. Maison au Bord du Ruisseau is an exceptional example from this period. The fresh jewel like colors, Martin's inimitable pointillist technique as well as the large scale and superb condition of this work all combine to place this painting among the most beautiful and poetic landscapes executed by the artist.

Henri Martin was born August 5, 1860 in Toulouse. His early works were devoted to poetic and allegorical themes reflecting his training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse. After winning the Grand Prix he moved to Paris in 1879 to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Jean-Paul Laurens. Martin exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Francais in Paris from 1880, winning a medal at the 1883 Salon.

A visit to Italy in 1885 brought a new lyrical freedom to his work. On Henri Martin's return to Paris in 1889, he began experimenting with pointillism and turned almost exclusively to landscape. In the 1890's his work showed links with Symbolism. He was an associate of the Symbolists and exhibited at their acclaimed showcase -- the first Salon de la Rose Croix in 1892. Under the influence of Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, Martin adopted pointillism which is exemplary of his most successful works, those rendered in the latter part of his career after having found the technique at which he excelled.

In 1889 Henri Martin exhibited at La Fete de la Federation where he was presented with a gold medal. He was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1896, and in 1900 won the grand prize at the Exposition Universelle. Martin was named Commander of the Legion of Honour in 1914, and became a member of the Institut in 1918.

His work can be found in many private collections and museums including the Musee d'Orsay, and the Musee du Petit Palais, Paris; Philadelphia Art Museum; in addition to numerous French museums.

Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin was born in Toulouse, France in 1860.  He first trained in Toulouse at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts under Jules Garipuy, where he was also a pupil of Delacroix.  In 1879, he moved to Paris and worked in the studio of Jean-Paul Laurens, and in 1886 he exhibited for the first time at the Salon.  He won a scholarship for a tour in Italy, where he developed his own style with its characteristic short, divisionist brush strokes.

He painted some unusually large pictures in a neo-impressionistic style for which he won great acclaim when he exhibited them at a one-man show at the Mancini Gallery in 1895.  He was commissioned to paint some important murals for the city hall in Paris in 1895 and for the Capitol in Toulouse in 1903-1906.  He made friends with Rodin during that period.

Henri Martin lived most of his life in Marquayrol, near Bastide-du-Vert, France, where he died in November of 1943.

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About  Henri-Jean Martin

Born:  1860 - Toulouse, France
Died:   1943 - Marquayrol, France
Known for:  neo-impressionist figure and landscape painting