Knock, Knock, Who’s There?

Above: Henri Martin: Gabrielle at the Garden Door, 1910 (201cm x 105.4cm) London.

Renowned French impressionist painter Henri-Jean Guillaume Martin was born in Toulouse on August 5, 1860 to a French cabinet-maker. Martin successfully persuaded his father to permit him to become an artist; and in doing so, began his career in 1877 at the Toulouse School of the Fine Arts.

  • In 1879, Martin gained a scholarship to Jean-Paul Laurens’ studio in Paris.
  • 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 following year, he won his first medal – a scholarship tour in Italy.

At the 1900 World Fair, Martin 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 ground-breaking, his work was 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 over-looking La Bastide du Vert, near Cahors.

  • He created his best work here until he died on 12 November, 1943.

Knock knock who’s there, is this Gabrielle calling? –  if so, then open the doors and come inside!

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