"Still Life With a Bouquet of Dahlias and a Bowl of Grapes on a Table"
Jacques Martin-Ferrières (French, 1893-1972)
Oil on canvas
21 x 25 inches (36-1/2 x 31-1/2 w/frame)
A painter remarkable for his highly personal portraits and landscape views, Jacques Martin-Ferrières was the son of the great post-Impressionist painter Henri Martin (1860-1943). He studied with his father and became known as a master at reproducing the scintillating effects of light on canvas. Despite his father's influence, Jac developed a technique that was uniquely his own: paint is applied in swift and short brushstrokes of an opaque color, at times overlapping and at times separated, revealing a pale ground layer and producing a mosaic-like surface. He did not draw attention to the fact that he was Henri Martin's son. Jacques Martin-Ferrières's recognition, long and fruitful career was due solely to his own merits.
Martin-Ferrières's education was very thorough. From a very young age, he drew and painted but he studied literature and the sciences and ultimately received his degree in science. His knowledge of chemistry was useful as he applied it to painting techniques. Martin-Ferrières was also a passionate musician, playing the piano, organ and cello, he would find respite in music after a long day in his studio.
During the 1930's Martin-Ferrières traveled widely and was inspired to lighten his pallete, which had previously been rather muted. In 1937 he won the gold medal at the Exposition Universelle and in 1939, he had a retrospective in Paris which included more than 150 pieces.
Martin-Ferrières was awarded many national prizes, including an honorable mention at the Salon of 1920 and a silver medal in 1923. In 1924 he won a travel grant that allowed him to visit Italy and discover it's artistic wealth. Upon returning to France, Martin-Ferrières had his first one-man exhibition and in 1925, he won the Prix National and a Gold Medal medal as well as the Legay-Lebrun Prize in 1928. During those years, his work was exhibited at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh as well. He was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1937 and in 1956, was made an Officer of the Legion of Honor. A retrospective of his work in 1965 was another confirmation of his revered status.