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Henri-Jean-Guillaume Martin

Village in Lot


Henri-Jean-Guillaume Martin
Toulouse 1860 – Labastide-du-Vert, France, 1943


Village in Lot


Between 1899 and 1909


Oil on canvas


73.1 x 64.4 cm


Purchase, John W. Tempest Fund, inv. 1909.71


Western Art

Trained at the École des beaux-arts in his hometown, in 1879 Martin left for Paris, where he became the pupil of Laurens. He travelled throughout Italy in 1885, where he studied the work of the country’s “primitive,” pre-Renaissance painters, which steered him toward a poetic vision. True to his nature, he turned to a serene expression of an idealized world through a Pointillist style of broad brush strokes. In 1899, Martin came to know the southwestern French region of Lot and the village of Saint-Vincent-Rive-d’Olt. The following year, he bought the property of Marquayrol in Labastide du Vert, a peaceful village where life was governed by the rhythm of the seasons and work in the fields. Over forty years, he carried out true artistic experiments, devoting himself to exploring associations of colours and linear tension on the painting surface.

Village in Lot was shown in the 1909 Exhibition of French Art held at the Art Association of Montreal, under the title Village Street in the South of France. In this work the artist continued his investigation of light and shadow by painting the light of the sun on the golden stone walls of a humble abode in Labastide du Vert. While he adopted an original type of Divisionism that revealed the influence of the Neo-impressionists in its short, separated and parallel brush strokes, he created forms and light within a dreamy, glorified chromaticism.

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