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Maurice Martin was born at Mormant in France in 1894.

Martin specialised in landscape painting. He practised the style of ‘en plein air’ painting and the use of pur colour, learned through his association with Henry Moret and his school of Impressionist painters, who lived and worked close to Moret sur Loing in France, and who were themselves profoundly influenced by the innovative creativity of the four leading lights of Impressionism: Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley. Martin was inspired by the teaching of the Moret School and believed that ‘plen air’ painting was the only way to capture the immediacy of the outdoor scenery.

The technique used by Martin demanded a free and spontaneous style of painting in order to catch the rapid changes in outdoor light. An artist of these schools he attempted to extract the colors and shapes as well as the fragrances of nature, putting the total ambiance and experience directly onto the canvas. As a general rule, artists from prior schools of classical training chose to absorb the experience of nature into mental and emotional images or perhaps even sketches and then return to the silent studio where they organized their thoughts and interpreted them onto canvas.

The primary motivation for Martin born out of the teachings of the Moret School was to go through the woods with his paints and canvasses capturing a piece of nature at an exact prescribed time, thus eliminating the intellectual character of landscape painting. He believed that a landscape should be viewed purely as a moment of beauty.

Martin was a tall man and in his words, “saw from high up”. Yet his paintings are always impeccable in their perception, well lit and full of grace. His many landscapes include studies of Picardy, the Isle of France, Brittany and Provence. He also painted in Spain, especially Grenada and Malaga, capturing with the tip of his brush the dances of sunlight he so much loved.

Among the fine landscape painters, Maurice Martin is one of the most renowned in the world. He presented work in all the major exhibitions in France, and received many awards, including the Gold Medal of the Paris Salon (1946), as well as the Corot Prize.

Being a tall man I saw from high up

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