JAN ET JOËL MARTEL (1896 - 1966)

The twins Jean (or Jan) and Joël Martel, born in March 5, 1896 in Nantes and died respectively in March 16 (in Lille) and September 25, 1966 (in Paris), are French sculptors and decorators. They live in Paris in 1906 and realize all their secondary studies there, then with the support of their father, they follow the courses of the sculptor Pierre Vigoureux from 1911 and integrate the following year l'Ecole Nationale des Arts décoratifs.

Their works are sculptures, posters, monuments or fountains inspired by Art Deco or Cubist, through the female nudes and animal sculpture. The vigor of their creation is reflected in works devoted to speed and various means of transport. They also made interior designs in villas in the 1920s.

The Martel brothers shared the same workshop and their work to the point of signing their compositions only by "J. Martel". Some of their works are published in ceramics at Fau and Guillard or by the Sèvres factory.

During the inter-war period, they participated in all major events and international exhibitions. They work with architects for the Exhibition of Industrial and Modern Decorative Arts of Paris in 1925 and for the International Exhibition of Arts and Techniques in Paris in 1937.

They are knights of the Legion of Honor in 1936 and commanders of Cultural and Artistic Merit.

The Martels are placed between the naturalist representation closest to the model's anatomy and the Cubist representation. They integrate with Art Deco by simplifying volumes and the preference given to smooth volumes. This ratio defining the ideal proportions is the answer to Martel's research on proportions. He will be at the heart of all their work. Attention to material and color is another characteristic that gives the Martel brothers their rightful place in modernist artists.