Henri Martin Paintings
Henri Jean Martin moved to Paris at a very early age and, thanks to a scholarship from his home town, entered the studio of Jean Paul Laurens in 1879. He achieved his first success at the age of 23 with his painting Françoise de Rimini in 1883, which won a first-class medal. In 1885 Titans Scaling the Sky won him a travel scholarship to Italy. In 1896 he was made Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur as a result of his decorative work at the town hall, and won Grand Prix at the 1900 Exposition Universelle. He won a gold medal at the Salon in Paris for Festival of the Federation, which was exhibited in 1889. He was made Commandeur of the Légion d'Honneur in 1914, and a member of the Institute in 1918.
His trip to Italy had a decisive and positive influence on his style. Until then his works had been impeccably correct in their rather cold Classicism, but the brilliant light of the Italian skies, possibly also the style of the early Transalpine School, the study of the figures of Giotto and the early Primitives awoke in him intense poetic sentiments which he translated using a very particular style. He used short separate and parallel brushstrokes, giving his allegorical canvases a misty appearance. This new method was first revealed in Festival of the Federation.
In 1895 Martin was commissioned to produce various decorations for the town hall and painted two large friezes and a ceiling, Apollo and the Muses and The Arts. He also produced the decoration of the Capitole building in Toulouse, one of his best works; Study for the Sorbonne university in 1908; Work for the Palais de Justice in 1914 and Harvest for the Conseil d'État, in 1920.
In 1880 he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris. In 1896 he gave a solo exhibition which achieved great success at Galerie Mancin in Paris. In 1935 an exhibition of his work was held at Petit Palais in Paris. After Martin's death retrospectives of his work were shown in 1983 Paris and Toulouse; 1993 Cahors and Toulouse; 1995 Copenhagen. His work has also featured posthumously at thematic group exhibitions including Jeanne d'Arc. Les Tableaux de l'Histoire at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, in 2003.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Bayonne (Mus. Bonnat): Portrait of Jean Paul Laurens
Béziers: Lot House at Dusk; Head of a Woman
Bordeaux: Each to his own Dream
Carcassonne: Françoise de Rimini
Dijon: Village Church; Orpheus
Douai: Harmony; Lot Landscape
Montpellier: Old House
Montreal: View of a Village in the South of France
Mulhouse: Young Girl with Rose
Nantes (MBA): Dusk
Orléans (MBA): Joan of Arc Listening to her Voices
Paris (former Mus. du Luxembourg): Bead-tellers; Knitters; Portrait of the Artist
Paris (MAMVP): four sketches for the decoration of Montreuil-sous-Bois Town Hall
Paris (MNAM-CCI): Portrait of the Artist
Toulouse: Ride to the Abyss; Man between Vice and Virtue; Festival of the Federation
Henri Martin Paintings