Vibrant color is used to brilliant effect in this extraordinary oil on canvas by the French painter Jacques Martin-Ferrières. The striking street scene, as well as the flattened architectural cityscape that serves as its backdrop, is rendered in a studied use of bold color contrasts and thick, vigorous brushstrokes that embody the mature style of this post-impressionist artist. Village women are clad in vivid, spectral hues of peaches, greens, and mauves that beautifully complement the blue and yellow tones found in the buildings and the sky. The result is an engaging, cohesive composition that displays the magnificent palette and perspective of Martin-Ferrières' best works.
Martin-Ferrières was born into his artistic family in 1893 in Saint-Paul, France. The son of the esteemed Henri Martin, he received tutoring and mentoring in modern painting at an early age, though he eventually received his degree in the advanced sciences. His strong knowledge of chemistry proved instrumental for his future career as a painter, as he applied his knowledge with the science of materials to his art production.
Martin-Ferrières made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1920, where he received an Honorable Mention. In 1925, he was awarded the Prix National and in 1928 the Gold Medal of the Paris Salon, as well as the Prix Legay-Lebrun. From 1928 to 1933, Martin-Ferrières devoted himself entirely to the execution of the frescoes of the life of Saint Christopher in the church of Saint Christopher de Javel in Paris. In 1937, he won the Gold Medal at the Exposition Universelle, and he was made Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur. In 1956 he was promoted to Officer of the Légion by the French government.
Today Martin-Ferrières is regarded among the most accomplished and highly awarded artists of the early 20th century. His diverse oeuvre, impeccable execution, prolific output and impressive pedigree ensure his works are highly sought after.
Canvas: 28 3/4" high x 21 1/2" wide
Frame: 38 1/4" high x 30 3/4" wide
Signature: Signed Martin-Ferrières (lower left)