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Henri Martin (1860-1943)

Rue et Paysage de Collioure ensoleille

Oil on canvas
36 1/4 x 29 7/8 ins (92 x 76 cms)


Private collection, France

The village of Collioure, situated in the foothills of the Pyrenees not far from the Spanish border, already boasted a rich artistic tradition by the time Henri Martin settled there in 1923.

As early as 1905 Signac, Matisse and Derain had incorporated the stunning Mediterranean light and deep pinks and browns of Collioure's buildings into their early fauve paintings. The appeal of Collioure both to the Fauvists and indeed to Martin himself lay in the remoteness of its location and its freedom from industrialisation, retaining a mythical, untouched quality.

Martin was too much of an individual to have been constrained by the stringent tenets of Post-Impressionism, as laid down by Seurat and Signac, yet this work represents both a confident and original assimilation of their call for a carefully modulated palette combined with pictorial harmony and orchestration of line. What results is a scintillating exploration of the play of light and geometric shapes throughout the landscape. A very accomplished painting.

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