Cyrille Martin has confirmed the authenticity of this painting.
According to the guidebook author Ardouin-Dumazet, who wrote in 1904: "In a bend of the coastline, at the outlet of a valley, scattered around the forts, gardens and coves in a picturesque manner...here is the pleasant town of Collioure. The prospect is charming." (J.D. Herbert, Fauve Painting; The Making of Cultural Politics, New Haven, 1992, p. 92).
Henri Martin purchased a house in Collioure in 1923, captivated in his old age by its beautiful and remote setting on the Mediterranean. Though he was familiar with the sleepy fishing village, having visited his artist friend many times, it was not until his sixties that Martin himself put roots down there. Located at the foot of the Pyréneés near the Spanish border, Collioure had been a significant port in Roman times and remained of strategic importance throughout the Middle Ages. Once belonging to the kingdoms of Aragon, Majorca, France and Spain, it became a permanent part of France in the late 17th Century, but later lost its military significance and lapsed into a peaceful fishing village. By the 1880s it had been discovered by artists and served as the backdrop for some of the most significant Fauve paintings by Henri Matisse, André Derain and Paul Signac in 1905.
While renovating his new home Martin rented a studio overlooking the port, a scene which recurs in his most successful compositions from this time. The present work depicts an inviting view of the bay drenched in the southern light which characterizes much of the artist's mature oeuvre. The idyllic composition, looking beyond the rampart walls to sailboats drifting languidly past cottages nestled into the hills perfectly illustrates Martin's interest in recording both the interplay of light on objects and the rhythmic orchestration of line and geometric pattern. Martin's singular pointillist technique and generous impasto further activate the surface of this simple yet enchanting scene with movement and shimmering color.