Making reference to the present work, Petra ten-Doesschate Chu notes that: ‘Perhaps Martin was inspired[…] by Baudelaire’s famous poem, La Beauté, which pictures beauty as a woman, whose breast “is made to inspire in the poet a love as eternal and silent as matter” and which attributes to beauty “a heart of snow”’ (quoted in Eden Close at Hand, The Paintings of Henri Martin 1860-1943 (exhibition catalogue), Anderson Galleries, New York, 2005, p. 66). The importance Martin attached to this work is attested to by the fact that he chose to exhibit it at the prestigious Paris Salon in 1900. In fact, the artist was so enamoured by this particular subject that he also painted another version (currently housed in the collection of the Musée des Augustins in Toulouse) which mirrors the present work.
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