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Henri MARTIN

Henri Martin (Henri Jean Guillaume Martin, 1860-1943) was born to a cabinetmaker and a cleaning lady.  He was seemingly supported by his parents in joining the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in his home city of Toulouse.  The trade of fine art painter may have looked to his father as a way to move up in the world, which Henri Martin did.  After two years in Toulouse, he studied a further two in Paris with Jean-Paul Laurens.  Launched at the young he also married young, at just 21 years of age, and had four sons.  In 1885 travels through Italy helped Martin distance himself from the prevalent academic style of painting, towards a sinuous line that echoed symbolist tendencies.  He also soon developed his own pointillist technique.  While these choices were out of the mainstream, it did not seem to cause his career any harm.  Henri Martin exhibited widely, both in official salons, and parallel venues, such as the Rose-Croix.  He also soon received acclaim, commissions, and official prizes.  Even after leaving Paris for a small town in Southwestern France, Martin continued to be an acclaimed artist.  As a printmaker he left behind mostly lithographs, just a handful, a dozen or so in all.  In these he tends towards the allegorical, much like he often did in his painting.

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