The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Cyrille Martin.
Angelo Sommaruga, Paris Private Collection, France (by descent from the above) Acquired from the above by the present owner
In 1923 Henri Martin settled in Collioure, a quiet fishing village nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees near the Spanish border. Collioure’s remote location and serene atmosphere, unaffected by industrialization, appealed to both the Fauves and the Post-Impressionists. As early as 1905, Henri Matisse, Paul Signac and André Derain had fallen in love with the splendor and leisurely charm of Collioure, and all three incorporated scenes of the town in their early Fauve paintings. Martin purchased a home there, and during its renovation he rented a studio that overlooked the port depicted in this composition, a scene which he reiterated in some of his most successful paintings of this time. The unique architecture of the Catalan port, the effects of the sea water and sunlight and the activities of the fisherman provided Martin with opportunities to explore new formal directions in a dynamic departure from his landscapes of La Bastide du Vert. A wonderful example of Martin's unique approach to Pointillism, the present work is a study for the major painting Quatorze juillet à Collioure (see fig. 1).Martin captures the fishing port on a day of celebration and fills the composition to the brim with the colorful patterns and dynamism of the local traditions. Imbued with a vivid light, the present work reveals Martin’s remarkable ability to distill the vibrations of sunlight and other similar atmospheric effects through a highly assured painterly technique.
The present work was previously in the collection of the celebrated Italian writer, editor and art dealer Angelo Sommaruga.
The work is in very good condition. The board is very gently bowed at center but in good shape. Surface is richly textured and the impasto well preserved. Under UV light, certain, certain original pigments fluoresce darkly. Few small strokes of in-painting are visible in the water to the left of the leftmost mast. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.