Cyrille Martin has confirmed the authenticity of this painting.
In 1900, at the age of 40, Martin purchased a large 17th century house in the village of Labastide-du-Vert in the Lot in south-west France. Marquayrol became Martin's summer retreat, and it was to here that he would retire from the city between the months of May and November, revelling in the beauty and serenity of nature that he lacked in Paris. The house was set on the side of a hill, with a large terrace overlooking the village and the surrounding valley. The intensely peaceful surroundings of Marquayrol were to become Martin's preferred subject matter; as well as the landscape around the property, he depicted every single detail of the house and gardens - the round pool and its statue, the terrace, the pergola, the vineyard, the gate and even his pots of geraniums became recurring themes in his work. Marquayrol remained Martin's connection with nature and light for more than forty years, providing him with both his subject matter and his inspiration.
The present work depicts the oft-painted pergola in the north-west corner of the park of Marquayrol where the Martin family often took tea in the late afternoon, when the location afforded an incomparable view of the setting sun. Painted earlier in the day La pergola (gloriette) is drenched in the warm sun of the South that Martin had so missed when he moved to Paris. With characteristic aplomb Martin has perfectly captured the strong contrasts between the shade of the foreground and the hot sun falling on the hillside and the valley behind the pergola, through whose canopy sunlight falls, dappling the stone seats and ground below.