Martinet was a painter annd dealer.
A painter and Fine Arts administrator, Martinet organised exhibitions in his galleries on the Boulevard des Italiens from 1860 on. Whistler exhibited his Thames etchings there in January 1862.
Martinet founded the Société Nationale des Beaux-arts. From 1861 to 1863 Martinet issued an art magazine, the Courrier artistique, which fought vigorously for the Salon des Refusés in 1863. When Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl y038 was rejected at the Salon in 1863, Whistler appears to have wanted it to be submitted to the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts. He then, however, cancelled this authorisation in favour of the Salon des Refusés, which opened at the Palais des Champs Elysées on 15 May, where it was shown as 'La Dame Blanche' (cat. no. 596). It was shown subsequently at Martinet's gallery in July (see Fantin-Latour to Whistler, 19 July 1863, #01082).
At Martinet's galleries, changing displays with works for sale, and individual exhibitions (including a Delacroix memorial show, and , in 1860, a show including works by Jean-Siméon Chardin) created considerable public interest. An important group of Manet's paintings achieved a succès de scandale in 1863. Manet was disillusioned and withdrew his support in 1865.
Monneret, Sophie, L'Impressionisme et son époque, Paris, 1978-79.