Neiges dans les Abruzzes, 1921

by Jacques Martin-Ferrières

£24,500

In this pointillist winter landscape, Martin-Ferrières depicts the monumental mountains located in the Italian region of Abruzzo, focusing on one of the mountain-tops with the snow swirling around what could be a castle or a church. The artist’s superb sensitivity of colour is demonstrated within the painting as at the forefront the subtle harmonies of blue and violet are contrasted with the lighter background hues of pinks and creams, creating a stunning composition of animation and the tantalising effects of light.

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 15.0 x 18.9 ins./ 38.1 x 45.7 cms
SIGNATURE: Signed and dated lower right
MEDIUM: Oil on board

 

Catalogue No: 5741 Categories: ,

Jacques Martin-Ferrières painted mostly still life works and landscape scenes, often travelling to a variety of places and painting everywhere he went. He also particularly enjoyed painting in winter, creating beautiful snowy landscapes that show a lot of lyricism, like with this piece, Neiges dans les Abruzzes.

Private Collection, United States

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Martin-Ferrières was born in 1893 in Saint-Paul de Vence in South Eastern France, into a family of artists, including his father Henri Martin, the famous pointillist. Firstly, he did not devote himself entirely to painting, studying literature and science instead and then drawing outside of lessons. However, gradually he became interested in human beings and life around them and so began his formal training at the École des Beaux- Arts in Paris, studying under Frederic Cormon and Ernest Laurent. He received his first major honour in 1923 in the Paris Salon after his painting Le Christ was awarded a Silver Medal and then purchased by the French state. He would exhibit at the Salon regularly for many years, receiving a travel scholarship the next year in 1924. This enabled him to discover Italy and the artistic wealth it possessed, influencing him to look away from the academic conventions and restraints of the day. During the period 1925-1928 Martin-Ferrières would continually return to Italy to study the Italian masters, and on return to France his paintings were well received.

After a successful year in 1928, where his painting Marche d’Assissi was awarded a Gold Medal at the Paris Salon and the The Legay-Lebrun prize, then being purchased by the City of Paris, Martin-Ferrières’ popularity grew and his talent was unanimously acknowledged by critics. Up until 1933 he devoted himself to painting powerful frescos of the church, Saint Christopher de Javel in Paris. In the following years he spent time in Spain, Greece and Yugoslavia where he significantly developed his palette, becoming

lighter and more energised. Despite his father’s strong influence in learning the pointillist technique, he became known for his own technique using a thick impasto, applying the paint in layers which created a surface of great vitality and a wonderful basis for his experimentation with the effects of light.

During the war years, Martin-Ferrières was part of the Resistance in Dordogne, where he was briefly captured by the Germans but his life was spared, however afterwards he did not continue to paint until 1950. He returned to Venice the same year and also went to new locations such as, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, Scandinavia and Holland. This demonstrates how travel was an integral part of Martin-Ferrières’ inspiration as he extracted the artistic essence of everywhere he visited.

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