|Xavier Martinez |
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Etcher, painter, lithographer, Xavier Martinez was born Javier Timoteo Martinez y Orozco in Guadalajara, Mexico on February 7, 1869. Martinez began his art studies in Guadalajara at the Liceo de Varones. His father was made Consul-General in San Francisco in 1893, Martinez moved with him and enrolled at the School of Design where he was a pupil of Arthur Mathews. By the end of his second year he had been awarded all of the highest honors, including a scholarship for further study in Paris at the Ecole des Beax Arts under Gerome and at Academie Carriere. While in Paris, he spent time with Whistler whose influence can be seen in Martinez's work.
After six years in Paris, he returned to San Francisco in 1901 and established a studio. He was one of the city's most colorful and popular Bohemians, and was known as Marty to his friends. He wore baggy velvet trousers, a colorful sash around his waist, velvet beret, and a flowing crimson tie. Along with William Keith and Charles Rollo Peters, he co-founded the Del Monte Art Gallery in Monterey, the first gallery devoted exclusively to California artists. After his studio was destroyed by the fire and earthquake in 1906, he moved across the bay to the hills of Piedmont to a home at 324 Scenic Avenue.
He taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts from 1909 to 1942. The California Legislature adjourned early in his memory on the day of his death on January 13, 1943. The subdued atmospheric light of his paintings embraces tonalism; most of his low keyed landscapes are of the Piedmont Hills. He signed his work with a monogram; early works in Paris were JTM superimposed in a circle, and finally XM within a circle made with a Chinese stone stamp.
Member: American Federation of Artists; San Francisco Sketch Club; Bohemian Club, 1904, 1936; Del Monte Gallery, 1907; Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915; California-Pacific International Exposition, San Diego, 1935; San Francisco Museum of Art Inaugural, 1935; Oakland Museum, 19749 (retrospective).
Awards: Gold medal, San Francisco Art Association, 1895; Honorary Mention, Paris Exposition,1900; Honorary Mention (etching), Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915.
Works held: Crocker Museum, Sacramento; Mills College, Oakland; Monterrey Peninsula Museum of Art; Oakland Museum; Bohemian Club; de Young Museum; Sierra Nevada Museum, Reno.