The image is of dancer Olga Tshechowa in 1929.
The central figure was later used for the poster of the artist’s exhibition at the Lyric Theater, Hammersmith, England in 1985.
H.C. stands for Hors Commerce (Not for Trade in french). Traditionally these were graphics pulled with the regular edition, but were marked by the artist for business use only. These graphics were used for entering exhibitions and competitions
Most of Frank Martin’s output was commercial in a purposeful way. At a time when illustrative and decorative art in Britain flourished in publishing, journalism and advertising, he proudly called himself a jobbing artist and no one could deny the technical range of his accomplishments. It is a measure of his success that in the 1970s he held no fewer than 11 one-man shows. He was also one of the longest-serving illustrators for the Folio Society.
Martins work often had a playful quality. The sidelong glances, ripped bodices and cartoonish features (sometimes practically asking for speech bubbles) were all indications that he did not want to be taken solemnly. Naked girls were undoubtedly his favourite subjects, and he drew, painted, etched and engraved them repeatedly. He was a confident draughtsman, using strong shapes and swaggering lines full of movement. His images are straightforward, clear and affectionate