“In a bend of the coastline, at the outlet of a valley, scattered around the forts, gardens and coves in a picturesque manner…here is the pleasant town of Collioure. The prospect is charming” (V.E. Ardouin-Dumazet quoted in J.D. Herbert, Fauve Painting, The Making of Cultural Politics, New Haven, 1992, p. 92).
Once a significant military base during the Roman Empire and Middle Ages, the peaceful fishing village of Collioure is better known as the birthplace of Fauvism. This modest commune served as a great meeting place for the likes of Matisse, Signac and Derain who were able to live inexpensively and take advantage of the colourful environment that enveloped them.
It was in this ideal location in the foothills of the Pyrenees that Henri Martin decided to settle in 1923, after having almost exhausted his surroundings at Saint-Cirq-Lapopie and Marquayrol. During the renovation of his new Collioure home, Martin rented a port-side studio with a view of the shoreline as seen in the present work.
It was from this studio that Martin was able to capture the rich landscape before him. The bustling activity of the fishermen in the foreground is separated from the cool, rolling hills of the Pyreness by the Église Notre-Dame-des-Anges and village homes cast in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun.
DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 32.0 x 41.0 in./81.4 x 104.2 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas