Portrait d’une femme de profil, 1913
Signed lower right 'Henri Martin'
Oil on nanel
13 3/4 x 10 3/8 in, 35 x 26.5 cm
Still engaging with figurative painting after 1910, in 1913 Martin painted the monumental work 'Les Tricoteuses'. It was first exhibited in the Salon des Artes Français that same year and...
Still engaging with figurative painting after 1910, in 1913 Martin painted the monumental work 'Les Tricoteuses'. It was first exhibited in the Salon des Artes Français that same year and has since been held in the collections of Musée d’Orsay, Paris and Musée des Beaux Artes, Nantes. Martin created multiple preparatory paintings for Les Tricoteuses, an example of which is 'Portrait d’une femme de profil'.
'Les Tricoteuses' depicts a group of women sewing, and it is these women that are the focus of both studies. Without the need for allegorical imagery Martin celebrates the joy of the everyday world. This follows contemporary thought that the most modest of tasks were the most important because of their simplicity and purity. The artist delights in the humble act of sewing, depicting his figures almost like angels in the garden, dressed in white and surrounded by halos of light and colour.
Martin married Marie Charlotte Barbaroux in Toulouse in 1881. She regularly modelled for Martin and is the likely the subject of Portrait d’une femme de profil. The vibrant palette of fiery yellows, cool blues and vivid greens are each distinctly marked on the canvas. Typical of the divisionist technique, Martin uses different shades and brushstrokes to separate figure and background, rather than relying on superficial outlines. This allows the barriers between body and surroundings to merge, suggesting an image nature and the female at one.
Private Collection, Austria