Born in Camberwell, London, Martin began adult life as a midshipman, sailing around the Cape of Good Hope to India before 'discovering' Newlyn in 1870. He painted coastal landscapes and scenes of fishing life. He was the only artist listed as resident in Newlyn at the time of the 1871 Census, and the only one of the first-generation of Newlyn artists to be in the vicinity at the time of the 1881 Census.
Martin and his wife, Helen Amy, retained their tenancy at Castle Cliff until 1883, later moving to the Plymouth area: thus he had been painting in Newlyn for up to twelve years prior to the arrival of the main body of artists to the locality.
Two of his paintings were included in the 1889 West Cornwall Art Union Exhibition in Penzance. He exhibited at the NAG Opening Exhibition in 1895, and was described in the reviews as 'the original Newlynite' although he was, by that time, exhibiting from a London address.
The artist married a second time, after the death of his first wife, to Rosina Blake (called Rose) and with her had two children, the second of whom, Nora Kate Lympany, died in 2002, aged 99 years. Martin spent the last years of his life living at 5 Brunel Terrace in Saltash, Cornwall, beside the River Tamar.
Painter in oil and watercolour
works and access
Works include: The Sail-Mender; Newlyn Harbour; The Road to our Village; A March Morning - Mount's Bay; On the Sands, Whitby; Newlyn, near Penzance; Fishing Boats in Mount's Bay; December Morning; December, Mount's Bay;
Access to work: Penlee House Gallery and Museum. Penzance; Saltash Town Council (Waterside, Saltash, from Silver Street, c1900); Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro: 2 (A Street in Mount's Bay, Dejeuner a Auvers)
Penzance West Cornwall Art Union Exhibition 1889
NAG Opening 1895;
2009: Penlee House, Penzance A Village in Focus: Mousehole, A Village in Focus: Newlyn 29 November 2008 - 14 March
2011: Penlee House: 'The Marvellous Everyday'
misc further info
Family informant: WCAA file
Census Returns 1871, 1881
JB Cornish scrap books 1879-1891, Morrab Library, Penzance
Bednar (1999, 3rd edition 2009) Every Corner was a picture
Graves RA Dictionary
Green (1995) Artists at Home
Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn: Diary of a Gallery;
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall;
Holmes (1993) Artistic Tradition
Johnson & Greutzner (1975) Dictionary of British Artists
NAG exhibition catalogues (repr Hardie 2009)
Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly: Oil Paintings in Public Ownership
J Rice (2011) Curator's selection: 'The Marvellous Everyday' Exh Cat