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Artist Name:      Antonio Pietro Martino
Artist Dates:       1902-1988      
Painting Title:     
Reflections at Cape May
Painting Date:   Undated
Medium:            Oil on Artist Board       
Signature:           
Signed Lower Right
Provenance:       Private Collection
Condition:         Excellent     
Size:                    
17 x 23
Frame Condition:  Gallery Style
Artist Best Price:  $124,750
Offered At:          CALL     
Curator's Comment: Martino came from a
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based painting family of
seven brothers and one sister: Antonio, Albert,
Edmond, Ernest, Filomina, Frank, Giovanni, and
William, all of whom painted--with Antonio and,
secondly, Giovanni the most recognized. They were
first under the tutelage of their eldest brother,
Frank, who in the late 1920s founded a commercial
art studio, Martino Studios at 27 South 18th Street.
Besides studying with his elder brother Antonio also
studied with Albert Jean Adolph at La France
Institute, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the
Fine Arts, the Graphic Sketch Club, and Spring
Garden Institute in Philadelphia. Adolph had been a
student of Jean Leon Gerome in Paris and schooled
Martino in the great tradition, a la Eakins who was in
Paris at that time. In addition to this strong
background, Martino also absorbed the light, color
and atmosphere of Impressionism through Redfield
and Schofield.

Antonio and Frank, sometimes accompanied by
Giovanni, worked en pleine air from Manayunk, a
hilly mill town along the Schuylkill River to New Hope
in Bucks County. Early in his career he decided to
concentrate on landscapes, and painted along the
Darby Creek and later focused on the upper Delaware
River. Later he did a broader range of East coast
subjects, gradually developing his personal style of
solid, simplified compositions in rich tone and color.
Martino lived in Newtown Square until 1971, when he
moved to Thousand Oaks, California. There he
painted west coast landscapes and seascapes in the
Santa Barbara and Westlake Village areas. Much
lighter and brighter than his Manayunk canvases,
these too won many awards. He painted until a few
months before his death in 1988 [this is the correct
date].

Over time Martino shaped and aesthetic fusion of
impressionism tempered with fauvism and most of all
a geometric impulse that is apparent in many of his
most successful pieces. Reflections at Cape May is
one of the best of a series of small harbor works done
along the east coast through Maine, and shows not
only the geometric style but also the brilliance of
Martino’s eye. Here one sees the vertical
geometry working to align the very principle of the
interchange of sea and shore. The hulls of the small
boats become inverted roofs and a universe of
rectangular windows serves to mimic the reflective
power of the water itself. We think this is a little
piece of genius at work and the color harmony
encloses all.
House by the Pond (sold for $89,000 in 2005)
again relies on reflection to fuse Martino's  style.
In the Canal Lock (sold for $34,000 in 2004)
Martino achieved a mastery of fusion  while
continuing a blended geometric impulse.
Another of the geometric coastal scenes, this
one done in Stonebridge Harbor, Maine
Martino's talent was manifest early on, and at the age of twenty-three, he had two paintings
accepted in a PAFA Annual Exhibition. Martino went on to win prizes in Philadelphia at the Art
Club, the Sketch Club, PAFA, the Philadelphia Sesquicentennial (1926), and in New York at the
National Academy of Design. In his lifetime Martino amassed more than eighty awards for his oils
and watercolors, and had ten solo exhibitions. His work has also been shown at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Reading
Museum, Wanamaker's Gallery and the Philadelphia Art Club, among many others.
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