M. (MÉDARD) MAERTENS
1875 Koolskamp (Belgium) - 1946 Brussel (Belgium)
Médard Maertens was a Belgian graphic artist, painter and draughtsman. He was married to Marthe Guillain; she was also an artist. Among others, he belonged to the Brabant fauvists. He took classes at the Academies of Tielt and Roeselare and, during his military service, at the Academy of Antwerp. He was part of the artistic circle Van Haelen, later called the Brabant Fauvists. He developed a "personal fauvism," with bright, contrasting colors and black outlines. His first exhibition was with the artists' circle "Doe Stil Voort" in 1908. That same year he also exhibited his works in "Salon de Gand" in Ghent, "Salon des Indépendants" in Paris and "Salon La Libre Esthétique" in Brussels. He volunteered at the front during the First World War. After 1916, he cautiously turned to expressionism. In 1917, he met Marthe Guillain, a war nurse with artistic training. Maertens guided her toward Fauvist painting. She would later become his wife. After the war, his color palette darkened and he evolved into a more realistic style. Both as a painter, engraver and draughtsman, Maertens produced mostly portraits, landscapes, genre scenes and still lifes. In 1920, they moved to Paris. They had three children. There they were associated with the Avant-Garde (Fernand Léger, Chaïm Soutine, Suzanne Valadon, Maurice de Vlaminck and Paul Signac). Médard Maertens died in Brussels in 1946.