"I believe that the correct context is to treat Martel, straightforwardly, as an ARTISTIC GENIUS and VISIONARY AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHER"
Dr. Bruce Chambers Art Historian
PAUL-JEAN MARTEL BELGIAN/AMERICAN
Paul-Jean Martel has been deemed the missing link between European and American Impressionism.
Belgian born in 1879, his parents immigrated to America in 1889 and settled in Philadelphia, PA. Paul then returned to Belgium and pursued his art education at the Brussels Royal Academy where he was exposed to the painting of the best Belgian artists of the day including Theo van Rysselberghe, Henri Evenpoel and George Lemmen. In 1920 he also showed at the Exhibition Triennial in Antwerp with Henri Matisse, Bonnard, and Oleffe. Also, In 1921 with Verhaegan and Heitz.
After graduating in 1906, Martel returned to Philadelphia to study under Thomas Anshutz at the Pennsylvania Academy, there he was impressed by the Pennsylvania School Landscape painting which featured artists Edward Redfield, Daniel Garber, Robert Spencer and W. Elmer Schofield. After his marriage in 1911, he returned to Europe, visiting and working in Paris, London and Brussels. With the outbreak of World War I, Martel settled in Auderghem, a small village outside Brussels. During his stay, he exhibited with the Cercle Artistique of Auderghem, at the Triennial exhibitions of Antwerp and Ghent and participated in exhibitions in Brussels.
The artist returned to Philadelphia in 1923 and during the late 1920’s, 1930’s, and 40's exhibited in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and Lynchburg, Virginia.