Label on the frame: Autoportrait de L. Martin fait à Bascoup
Son of a miner, Alexandre Louis Martin was born in 1887 in Carnières in the south of Belgium.
Received at a very young age at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Mons, he then attended that of Brussels, then the Higher Institute of Antwerp and the School of Decorative Arts in Paris. An Italian trip completes this training and introduces him to the great masters of the Renaissance.
Back in his country, he devoted his entire career to portraying the condition of poor people, painting miners, metallurgists and workers' wives with great realism and gentleness.
Many works in this sort can be seen at the museum dedicated to him in his hometown. From 1924 to 1936, he regularly participated in the exhibitions of the National Society of Fine Arts in Paris.
This self-portrait is a beautiful testimony to the admiration that the young Alexandre Louis Martin had for the masters of the Renaissance. Son of the Black Country as a 15th-century painter, he thus fully asserts himself in this newly acquired artist status.