Two Post-Impressionist Acquisitions
We have two excellent Post-Impressionist acquisitions from Henri Jean Guillaume Martin and Henri Matisse. Painted 15 years apart, these works demonstrate both artists’ sensitive handlings of natural landscapes with personal significance. We have paired these new acquisitions with other available works by the same artists.
In this dazzling painting, without question the best work by Henri Martin we have ever handled, the artist captures the light and beautiful colors of the main fountain in his own beloved Italianate garden in Labastide-du-Vert in the south of France. The painting’s broad brushstrokes have been influenced by Pointillism, but are executed in Martin’s own distinctive style. The painting evokes the profound contentment Martin derived from his own garden of Eden. The acquisition of this house in 1900 was a turning point in his career, as he turned from depicting symbolist and mythical subjects to devote himself fully to the depiction of nature.
Henri Matisse visited Étretat on the Normandy coast in the summer of 1920 while his daughter recovered from an operation, painting several depictions of the scenery. As he wrote in his Notes d'un Peintre (1908), "What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity … a soothing, calming influence on the mind." It is an approach seen in this view of Étretat’s famous cliffs. Matisse’s group of paintings of Étretat are perhaps the last of his traditionally composed landscapes, as later he depicted landscapes or the coast through a window or open door.