Antonio Pietro Martino
Antonio Martino (1902-1988). "Reflections at Cape May," oil and gouache on artist board, 17 x 23, signed.
Don't be fooled by this painting. Martino is having a lot of fun with the concept of reflections. First there is the typical reflection seen in the water in the foreground. But then reflection goes wild as everything else in the painting reflects everything else. Just turn the boats over and they will reflect the roofs of the houses. Black vee-shaped roof matches black reverse vee-shaped hull. Boat windows parody building windows and the verticals, mooring poles, chimneys, boat out riggers, and even a TV antenna all suggest this world of reflection gone wild. The concept and the painting are brilliant. Martino gives us 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 his eye. We think this is a little piece of genius at work and the color harmony encloses all.
In the Canal Lock sold for $34,000
The Artist, 1975,
Antonio Martino came from a Philadelphia-based painting family of seven brothers and one sister: Antonio, Albert, Edmond, Ernest, Filomina, Frank, Giovanni, and William, all painted--with Antonio, with brother Giovanni his most recognized follower. They were first under the tutelage of their eldest brother, Frank, who in the late 1920s founded a commercial art studio. Besides studying with his elder brother, Antonio also studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. 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. In addition to this strong background, Martino also absorbed the light, color and atmosphere of Impressionism through the study of Redfield and Schofield. Antonio also worked en pleine air in Manayunk, a hilly mill town along the Schuylkill River, painting the urban cityscape as well. 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. He painted until a few months before his death in 1988 [this is the correct date].