Robert Henri (American, Cincinnati, Ohio 1865–1929 New York)
Oil on canvas
24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm)
Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1950
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 772
Henri championed truth and vitality in life and art. He echoed in his paintings the dark palette and gestural brushwork of the old masters Diego Velázquez and Frans Hals and the more recent Realists Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas. In the summer of 1907 he and some of his students traveled to the Netherlands and visited Hals’s hometown, Haarlem. There, responding to the Dutch painter’s gift for characterization, Henri made portraits of local models, including this one of Martche, who was among his favorites. While most of his Ashcan School colleagues dedicated themselves to depicting urban flux, Henri was, and remains, best known for portraits.