Lot 111
  • 111

Henri Martin

100,000 - 150,000 GBP
173,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Henri Martin
  • Port de Marseille - le clocher des Accoules
  • signed Henri Martin (lower right)
  • oil on canvas


Private Collection, New York
Sale: Maître Marc-Arthur Kohn, Deauville, 19th August 1998
Private Collection, Israel (sale: Sotheby's, London, 23rd October 2001, lot 123)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Catalogue Note

Henri Martin’s Port de Marseille - le clocher des Accoules is a delightfully atmospheric depiction of the old port of Marseille with the bell tower of the medieval church Notre-Dame des Accoules visible beyond the sail boats. The bell tower and clock that still chimes today are all that remains of this historic church, which was demolished by Revolutionaries in 1789. Unsurprisingly, Martin’s port scenes are among his most desirable works; the artist transforms bustling centres of commerce into tranquil, balanced compositions rendered through a modulated palette of primarily blue, yellow and red hues to wonderful effect, a testament to his mastery of the pointillist technique.

When describing Martin's personal interpretation of Impressionist techniques, Jules Laforgue remarked, “The shapes are given not by a outline drawing, but only by vibrations and contrasts in colours. The painting whatever it represents, the light of the studio is replaced by natural light and work indoors, by work in the open air… A lover of reality, he does not want it to impose upon him its feelings but to help him to transfigure his dream of beauty with a more accurate, a more lively eloquence. He borrowed the Impressionists' technique to reveal a quite subjective art. Impressionism gave Henri Martin his expression, but it does not impose upon him its inspiration” (Jacques Martin-Ferrières, Henri Martin, Paris, 1967, pp. 33-34).