Henri Martin: A Harmony of Symbolism and Nature (September 14-October 20) tracks the development of the artist’s subjects and style.
From earlier allegories to later celebrations of Symbolism within landscape, pictures are offered at prices ranging from £100,000-1m.
As a young man in Paris, Martin embraced Jean Moréas’ 1886 Symbolist Manifesto, which called for the rejection of naturalism and romanticism in art, and encouraged a new form of expression free from the constraints of pure reality. In 1892 he exhibited eight works, reflecting his interest in Symbolist tropes such as ethereal femininity and nature, at the first Symbolist Salon.
In 1900, however, he moved away from allegory. After purchasing the estate of Marquayrol in Labastide-du-Vert, he embarked on a programme of plein-air painting, and creating dream-like landscapes that merged pointillism with idyllic views of his surroundings. In 1923 he moved again, this time to Collioure.
His works from this period reflect the continued refinement of his technique, resulting in views of his surrounding, suffused with light.
Martin’s output is still very much in the public eye. In 2016, one of his works was included in the Royal Academy of Arts exhibition Painting the Modern Garden, and last year an 1891 composition featured in the exhibition Mystical Symbolism at the Guggenheim in New York.
Then, this March, a c.1920 harbour scene became one of the top five lots at Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art day sale in London, taking £549,000 including buyer’s premium, one of several to sell for six-figure sums there and also at Christie’s this year.
The Mayfair exhibition is a rare opportunity for buyers to see – and acquire – a number of the artist’s unusual and distinctive works, sourced from different collections, shown in one place.