Henry Martin

About the Artist

Henry Martin was born in Gloucestershire, England, and immigrated to Canada in 1853. He settled first in Toronto, but later moved to Hamilton, Ontario, where he worked as an artist from 1875 to 1888,  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)   oilSlow-drying paint made when pigments are mixed with an oil, linseed oil being most traditional. The oil dries with a hard film, and the brightness of the colours is protected. Oil paints are usually opaque and traditionally used on canvas. They can have a matte, semi-gloss, or glossy finish. To look at examples of works in oil paints, see the articles under the names of every period from the Renaissance onward. (Artlex.com)  and  watercolourAny paint that uses water as a solvent. Paintings done with this medium are known as watercolours. What carries the pigment in watercolour (called its medium, vehicle, or base) is gum arabic. An exception to this rule is water miscible oil paints, which employ water as their solvent, but are actually oil paints. Colours are usually applied and spread with brushes, but other tools can also used. The most common techniques for applying watercolour are called wet-on-dry and wet-on-wet, along with the dry brush techniques dry-on-dry and dry-on-wet. Colours can be removed while still wet, to various degrees by blotting. Most watercolour painting is done on paper, but other absorbent grounds can also be employed. The papers most favored by those who paint with watercolour is white, very thick, with high rag content, and has some tooth. (Artlex.com)  landscapes and flower studies. Although he was living in Canada, some of his landscapes were of English, French and Irish scenes.

Martin also taught at several private schools. He received awards for some of his early watercolours and paintings of scenes in Canada.

Martin’s work was influenced by the common 19th century notions of The Sublime, which combined ideas of  picturesqueIn general, this may refer to any scene which seems to be especially suitable for representation in a picture, especially that which is sublime. It is especially associated with an aesthetic mode formulated in the late eighteenth century which valued deliberate rusticity, irregularities of design, and even a cultivated pursuit of quaint or nostalgic forms. Such pictures became common in nineteenth century Europe and America. Examples can be found among the American painters of the Hudson River school — Thomas Cole (1801-1848), Jasper Cropsey (1823-1900), and Asher B. Durand (1796-1886) — and of the Rocky Mountain school — Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) and Thomas Moran (1837-1926). (artlex.com)  beauty with an admiration for the awesome power of nature. Adventurers and explorers who sought out exotic locations such as Victoria Falls (seen on the right below) in Africa and the Rocky Mountains (seen on the left below) in North America fed this public fascination for scenes that could be admired for their beauty and feared for their wildness, at the same time.

Rocky Mountains Victoria Falls

Niagara Falls was an obvious choice as a  subjectA topic or idea represented in an art work.  for this interest in The Sublime. As early as the 17th century European travelers had drawn sketches of the falls, and passed along stories of their beauty and power to others. By the early 19th century it had become a “must see” destination for well-to-do travelers, and within a few decades Niagara Falls was a favoured tourist stop for the North American middle class.


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