Homer Dodge Martin

Homer Dodge Martin (October 28, 1836 – February 2, 1897) was an American artist, particularly known for his landscape paintings. His early works are in the line of the Hudson River School. He was a member of the National Academy of Design in New York. Examples of Martin’s work are in many important American museums.

During a trip to Europe, he was fascinated by the technique of the Barbizon school. He lived in France from 1882 to 1886, spending most of his time in Normandy. Homer Dodge Martin began his career painting precisely rendered landscapes. Then—under the influence of French Barbizon artists such as Rousseau and Corot—changed his style to create more atmospheric pictures. As time went on, Martin’s paintings became more like dreamlike landscapes of the mind than portraits of a specific place.

Martin was born in Albany, New York on October 28, 1836, the fourth and youngest son of Homer Martin and Sarah Dodge. A pupil for a short time of William Hart, his earlier work was closely aligned with the Hudson River School. Other Albany painters of his acquaintance included George Boughton, and Edward Gay.

During the 1860s he spent the summers in the Adirondacks, Catskills and White Mountains, and painted landscapes from the sketches he made there at his studio in New York City’s Tenth Street Studio Building.

On June 25, 1861 he married Elizabeth Gilbert Davis, also of Albany.

Martin was elected as associate of the National Academy of Design, New York, in 1868, and a full academician in 1874. During a trip to Europe in 1876, he was captivated by the Barbizon school and the Impressionists, and thereafter his painting style gradually became darker, moodier, and more loosely brushed.

From 1882 to 1886, he lived in France, spending much of the time in Normandy, including stays at the Etaples art colony. His work there included a topographical view of the harbor in which a wooden hulled ship is being built in the distance and a steam ship is seen moored on the quays. The rather more atmospheric Cottage in the Forest captures the effect of the parting sun on the dune landscape. At Villerville on the Seine, he painted his celebrated Harp of the Winds, now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

By 1897 Martin had returned to New York City; in 1893 he moved to St. Paul, Minnesota where, nearly blind, he painted one of his best-known works, Adirondack Scenery (1895) from memory. He died on February 12, 1897 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Although never successful within his lifetime, within two years of his death Adirondack Scenery sold for $5500 and Harp of the Winds (1895) was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Art Works:
As well as being represented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Martin’s paintings can be found in the collections of other important American museums including the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Portland Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Storm King on the Hudson 1862 – 1862 Albany Institute of History & Art
Storm King,belongs to the earlier phase of his career. The canvas depicts one of the Hudson River’s most famous mountains, located just north of West Point. We see the scene in full sunlight, likely at the end of summer, as the leaves are starting to change color. The composition, with a tree trunk angled slightly forward toward the center of the canvas, opening out to the distant view of the mountain, follows a standard arrangement used by many American landscape painters of the era.

Bash Bish Falls 1859 Albany Institute of History & Art

The Iron Mine, Port Henry, New York 62 Smithsonian American Art Museum

Criqueboeuf Church, Normandy 1893 Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Evening on the Thames (c. 1876)

Effect of Trees (Between 1876 and 1882)

The harbour at Étaples (1884)