Jeune garçon avec voilier – Jardins Du Luxembourg
by Henri Martin


Country of origin: France

Medium: Oil on panel

Signed: Signed lower right

Dated: c. 1930

Condition: Very good original condition

Size: 18.00" x 15.00" (45.7cm x 38.1cm)

Framed size: 25.00" x 22.00" (63.5cm x 55.9cm)

Provenance: Chaite Gallery - Paris c. 1950
Private collection - United States

Further information

With thanks to the Musee De Cahors for their research on this painting.

The work was created in the early 1930s, when Henri Martin began to lean towards pointillism in his painting style. The painting depicts a boy who is preparing to launch his sailboat on the water of pond on a beautiful sunny afternoon. The subject, as well, as the manner of painting, point out at the decoration of the staircase of the building of the City Hall of the 5th arrondissement of Paris. In 1932 the administration of the City Hall commissioned Henri Martin to create a group of panels to complete the walls of the rotunda staircase on the first floor of the building. As the subject matter for this decoration, the artist chose the Luxembourg Garden and its pond. It is very likely that the present lot was a study for one of the characters (see attached reference image). The composition comprises of five panels, three of which depict the pond with children racing their toy sailboats, and the other two show shaded walkways on the sides. The work was completed in 1935 and still remains today at its original location.

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Artist biography

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Henri Martin Paintings

Born in Toulouse to a French cabinet maker and a mother of Italian descent, Martin successfully persuaded his father to permit him to become an artist. He began his career in 1877 at the Toulouse School of the Fine Arts, where he was under the tutelage of Jules Garipuy (he was also a pupil of Henry-Eugéne Delacroix). In 1879, Martin relocated to Paris and with the help of a scholarship, was able to study in Jean-Paul Laurens' studio. Four years later, he received his first medal at the Paris Salon, where he would hold his first exhibition three years later in 1886.

The year after he won his first medal, Martin was awarded a scholarship for a tour in Italy, where he studied the work of veterans such as Giotto and Masaccio. His 1889 canvas submission to the Salon earned him the gold medal for work that has been described as Pointillist. That same year he became a member of the Legion of Honour. At the 1900 World Fair, he was awarded the Grand Prize for his work. During this period, he became friends with Auguste Rodin.

Although Martin's work as a neo-impressionist is not considered groundbreaking, his work was rather well-received, and has been associated with world-class symbolist painter, Puvis de Chavannes.

Due to his introverted temperament, Martin decided to move away from Paris. After a decade of searching for an ideal home, Martin bought Marquayrol, a mansion overlooking La Bastide du Vert, near Cahors. He performed his best work in the new tranquil environment, and died there in 1943.

Martin also taught; among his pupils was the American painter Nellie Ellen Shepherd

Henri Martin Paintings

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