Connaught Brown proudly presents a major exhibition of the Post-Impressionist artist Henri Martin (1860 – 1943), the first in London for several decades. Martin’s highly individual genius fused Symbolism and Neo-Impressionism to create images of extraordinary joy and beauty. This exhibition will explore the development of Martin’s paintings: from an artist captivated by the allegorical, to one that celebrated symbolism within the landscape.
Born in Toulouse in 1860, Martin moved to Paris in 1879. In 1886 Jean Moréas published the Symbolist Manifesto, catching the imagination of poets and artists alike. The article called for a rejection of naturalism and romanticism and paved the way for a new artistic expression removed from the constraints of pure reality. Embracing this new movement, Martin exhibited eight works at the first Symbolist Salon, Rose + Croix, of 1892. These early paintings reveal Martin’s fascination with the Symbolist tropes of ethereal femininity and nature. This exhibition will feature a masterpiece from this period La Muse du Peintre.
In 1900, from the proceeds of his success, Martin purchased the estate of Marquayrol in Labastide-du- Vert. He largely abandoned allegory for plein-air painting, creating dream like landscapes that merged Pointillism with idyllic views of his surroundings. In La Valleé Vert à Labastide-Du-Vert the mysteries of nature replace the allegorical figure, creating an atmospheric landscape shrouded in a hazy glow.
Martin bought a house in Collioure in 1923, the home of Signac and the Fauve painters twenty years earlier. Continuing his own interpretation of the divisionist technique, Martin’s works of this period such as Collioure, le port de séchage and La Tour de Collioure are suffused with light and the beauty of his surroundings. These paintings simultaneously reject and accept Pointillism, showing Martin as an artist forging his own identity from the language of previous generations.
Martin’s works are held in many of the most prestigious collections internationally including Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Philadelphia Art Museum, Pennyslvania, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit and the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. In 2016 a significant Marquayrol painting by Martin was included in the sell-out exhibition ‘Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse’ at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. While, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux are currently presenting an exhibition of the twenty-eight works the artist gifted to the museum.