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Original Issue

Quarry Bathers

The massive rock façade of this great granite quarry at Rockport, Mass. was a source of almost endless fascination for Joseph De Martini, who shows it here at evening when young men come to swim in its dark, cool waters. An artist who grew up along the docks of Hoboken, watching the busy life of New York Harbor, De Martini later spent his summers in Rockport, where he produced much of the art for which he is best known. He painted the quarry in many different versions. Of this, the third in the quarry series, he says: "I was interested in getting a kind of architectural structure that would express the simple grandeur and majesty of this massive rock facade which I did in rather large, fairly fiat areas, with figures somewhat like bas-relief sculpture, giving the whole something of a two-dimensional feeling." So successful were his interpretations of this subject that De Martini became to a degree identified with it; one tends to think of him as the painter of quarries, of rocky and romantic coastal scenes and seascapes, and overlook his many canvases of crowded city life. In his long painting career he has been the recipient of many prizes and run the gamut of critical characterization from "the talented young champion of the American scene" to "a modern romantic who brings substantial painting skill to imaginative landscape themes."